VIERA FLA Feb 17 2009 — Almost six months after issues with pay prompted Brevard County to cancel a contract with a private firm that provided security at the county’s three courthouses, the workers say they still have not been compensated for paychecks that bounced.
In September, the county terminated its contract with California-based National Command Link Network, also known as NCLN20 Inc., after 15 to 20 security guards threatened to walk off the job because of repeatedly bouncing paychecks.
The employees staff metal detectors and scan visitors’ belongings for weapons and other prohibited items.
About a dozen of those workers lost their jobs, but they were back at work a month later when the county signed a new contract with Allegiance Security Group, a North Carolina-based private security firm.
The month-to-month contract with Allegiance for five full-time and seven part-time guards is working out well, officials said.
But county facilities manager Teresa Camarata said talks with NCLN20 have not succeeded in getting at least four weeks of pay for the guards who worked under that contract. The commission refused to send a final payment to the company until officials meet with the board.
“I didn’t cash those other checks out of fear, but when that final check came, I needed money,” former NCLN20 employee Carol Derk said.
She said the banks and stores where she and several of her former co-workers attempted to cash checks are threatening to take them to court or have referred them to collections agencies.
Their W-2s also include income from the bounced checks, meaning the workers must pay taxes on money they never received, she said.
(2 of 2)
The dispute left the county with a $41,885 bill for four weeks of lobby security services provided by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office between contracts, officials said.
Sheriff Jack Parker said he recently submitted a recommendation to commissioners proposing that the county shift responsibility for lobby security to his office permanently, or at least have deputies — who already provide security in courtrooms — play some sort of role.
“In an ideal world, we’d like to see the sheriff deputies be the screeners,” Parker said. “But the less costly option is to keep the private screeners, but at least have deputies at the entry points for security purposes to stop any escape attempts and armed intrusion at any of the courthouses.”
JOIN THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE OFFICERSwww.privateofficer.com/
Get news alerts, officer down, weather emergency news in your mailbox! Sign up;firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at www.myspace.com/privateofficernews
Come be part of our social network! http://www.privateofficer.com