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State fines Plaza de Panama project consultant

Technicality, says Gordon David Kovtun of KCM Group

The State of California's labor commissioner has fined the lead consultant on the Plaza de Panama project $19,200 for hiring unlicensed contractors and failing to issue pay stubs to two employees.

According to a complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court, KCM Group, the construction management consultant based in Pacific Beach and run by Gordon David Kovtun, was cited twice for not issuing pay stubs as well as hiring two unlicensed contractors from January to March of this year.

The labor commission finalized the citation on July 22, five days after San Diego's city attorney's office cleared the way for the city to rehire KCM Group to oversee construction and design on a major rehaul of Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama. The project, funded largely by Qualcomm's Irwin Jacobs and first proposed in 2011, calls for the construction of a road leading from the historic Cabrillo Bridge to a new underground parking garage behind the Organ Pavilion.

The Plaza de Panama Project was placed on hold in 2012 after Save Our Heritage Organisation sued the city over environmental concerns. An appellate court sided with the city and overturned a superior court judge's ruling that halted the project. With the lawsuit officially over, in June mayor Kevin Faulconer signaled renewed support for the project.

KCM's Kovtun says the issue was a technicality and does not reflect the state of KCM Group.

"We had a temporary assignment and hired two employees as independent contractors given the short duration of the assignment. The Department of Industrial Relations did a random inspection and required us to put the individuals on payroll, which we did immediately. The matter was then resolved and closed. Regardless of this one-time infraction, KCM Group has approximately 18 full-time employees and an outstanding business record and reputation for over 16 years."

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The State of California's labor commissioner has fined the lead consultant on the Plaza de Panama project $19,200 for hiring unlicensed contractors and failing to issue pay stubs to two employees.

According to a complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court, KCM Group, the construction management consultant based in Pacific Beach and run by Gordon David Kovtun, was cited twice for not issuing pay stubs as well as hiring two unlicensed contractors from January to March of this year.

The labor commission finalized the citation on July 22, five days after San Diego's city attorney's office cleared the way for the city to rehire KCM Group to oversee construction and design on a major rehaul of Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama. The project, funded largely by Qualcomm's Irwin Jacobs and first proposed in 2011, calls for the construction of a road leading from the historic Cabrillo Bridge to a new underground parking garage behind the Organ Pavilion.

The Plaza de Panama Project was placed on hold in 2012 after Save Our Heritage Organisation sued the city over environmental concerns. An appellate court sided with the city and overturned a superior court judge's ruling that halted the project. With the lawsuit officially over, in June mayor Kevin Faulconer signaled renewed support for the project.

KCM's Kovtun says the issue was a technicality and does not reflect the state of KCM Group.

"We had a temporary assignment and hired two employees as independent contractors given the short duration of the assignment. The Department of Industrial Relations did a random inspection and required us to put the individuals on payroll, which we did immediately. The matter was then resolved and closed. Regardless of this one-time infraction, KCM Group has approximately 18 full-time employees and an outstanding business record and reputation for over 16 years."

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I'll bet that KCM has a long history of hiring "temporary independent contractors" to keep from paying wages and benefits.

Aug. 9, 2016

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