According to a new report from The Washington Post, a third mechanic’s lien has been filed against Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel, bringing the hotel’s total unpaid bills to over $5 million.
The most recent lien comes from AES Electrical, which is seeking $2.1 million in unpaid fees. The two other liens come from a plumbing firm, Joseph J. Magnolia Inc., which is seeking $2.98 million, and a construction company, A&D Construction, which is seeking $79,700.
The executive vice president for AES Electrical, Tim Miller, told WaPo that his company had people working at the hotel for over 12 hours a day so that it could open on time. Miller explained:
‘We had people there well over 12 hours a day for weeks because they had a hard opening of Sept. 12 and you can’t open if the lights don’t work and the fire alarms don’t work and the fire marshal can’t inspect it. There is a lot of work that went into that hotel, and it didn’t happen by accident.’
Trump held an event at his hotel on September 16, and during this event, he bragged at length that the building had been completed “under budget and ahead of schedule.” He also claimed that his hotel would be “one of the great hotels anywhere in the world.”
At the same time that this event was held, though, Miller reports that the Trump Organization and its construction manager, Lendlease, abruptly stopped paying AES.
Miller’s company has a $17 million contract with the Trump Organization, and all but the last $2 million has been paid. Miller has made it clear that AES is “not in this for any sort of political reasons.” He simply wants to ensure that the 32-year-old, family-owned company does not suffer as a result of being underpaid. He told WaPo:
‘We’re not in this for any sort of political reasons. We have no ax to grind, political or otherwise. We’re a business. We have 700 employees that we pay every week. We have bills. We are effectively financing this work, and we don’t think it’s right. That’s really it.’
It is unclear whether AES and the other companies that have filed liens will receive the money that they’re owed. Lendlease responded to WaPo‘s request for a comment about the liens but did not provide any specific legal information. They simply explained that liens are “not uncommon as part of the close out process.” The company’s representative wrote specifically about the situation:
‘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. In the case of Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C., the Trump Organization has invested over $200 million dollars into the redevelopment of the historic Old Post Office and is incredibly proud of what is now considered to be one the most iconic hotels anywhere in the country.’
Donald Trump and his companies have a long history of not paying employees what they’re owed. This summer, USA Today uncovered hundreds of liens similar to the ones filed by AES, Joseph J. Magnolia Inc., and A&D Construction. Unfortunately, many of the companies that have filed lawsuits against Trump have suffered as a result, as many of them are small and family-owned and simply do not have the funds — unlike Trump — to carry them through a long legal battle.
Featured image via Kris Connor/Getty Images.