2 swindled workers of Minnesota prevailing wage, charges say

By Marino Eccher

Hennepin County prosecutors say two owners of an electrical contracting company cheated their employees out of agreed-upon wages. Thomas Robert Clifton, 50, of Lake Elmo, and Earl Keith Standafter, 57, of Burnsville, each face one count of felony theft by swindle. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the charges Monday.

Prosecutors say the two men, owners of C&S Electric, won a 2010 bid for renovation work at Normandale College in which they agreed to pay their employees the prevailing wage — the pay rate required for state-funded construction projects.

The rate at the time for the 16 company electricians on the project was $58.50 per hour.

During the project, the two defendants signed documents showing they were in compliance with that requirement, according to the criminal charges. But afterward, a complaint was filed with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

(Read More)