Society

Contractors Say Trump Owes Them $5 Million For DC Hotel

| by Lauren Briggs

Three District of Columbia-area small businesses said they have not yet been paid for their work constructing the Trump International Hotel in the U.S. capital, which opened in October.

Those companies, Joseph J. Magnolia Inc. in D.C., AES Electrical in Maryland and A&D Construction in Virginia, have filed liens on the property, claiming they still have yet to receive pay for the work they did for the $212 million luxury hotel that President-elect Donald Trump praised as being finished ahead of schedule and below budget, reports Bloomberg.

Joseph J. Magnolia, who owns his namesake family-owned plumbing firm, filed a mechanic's lien on Dec. 21, 2016 after completing plumbing and mechanical work on the 263-room project between September 2014 and December 2016. 

Magnolia said the company is not optimistic that it will receive the nearly $3 million paycheck before Trump officially hands the business over to new owners as he prepares to assume the presidency, amid criticism of the president owning a luxury hotel so close to the White House, reports The Washington Post.

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"They have been decent people and so forth, but the issues that are going on now, with all the talk about removing him from the lease we are concerned about what is going to happen there," Magnolia, who voted for Trump in November, said. "So, it's basically a business decision that we had to make."

Magnolia said he has not yet heard from Trump or his daughter, Ivanka.

The Trump Organization responded to questions from the Post regarding the liens, though did not discuss specifics regarding when the companies would receive payment.

"In developments of this scale and complexity the filing of nominal liens at the conclusion of construction is not uncommon as part of the close out process," a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said in an email statement. "In the case of Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C., the Trump Organization ... is incredibly proud of what is now considered to be one the most iconic hotels anywhere in the country."

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Richard M. Sissman, an attorney for A&D Construction, said that they filed a lien on Nov. 9 for $79,700 after working on the walls and molding earlier in 2016.

"I have not heard from anyone," said Sissman, who added that they did not work directly with Trump. "My client is a small-time operator, so he does not have deep pockets."

AES Electrical said in its lien that Trump's company owes them more than $2 million, according to Bloomberg.

Sources: The Washington Post, Bloomberg / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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