Buckeye-Shaker Organization and Cleveland Councilman Ken Johnson Sued for Unpaid Wages

Photo courtesy of Mark Naymik, cleveland.com

Attorney Scott Perlmuter with Tittle & Perlmuter Law Firm filed a class-action lawsuit against the well-known Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation (BSSDC) located in Cleveland, Ohio.

This lawsuit was filed with the intent to rectify unpaid wages for employees who worked at the BSSDC during the summer of 2018.

Brian Coffey, lead plaintiff, worked for the corporation for several years before deciding to quit in August 2018. Coffey is just one of 50+ employees claiming that they received no compensation for the hourly work they completed for BSSDC including grass cutting and manual labor beginning in July 2018.

BSSDC Form 990

The lawsuit argues that “Assets of BSSDC have been transferred in substantial amounts to … John Hopkins, Garnell Jamison, and/or Kenneth L. Johnson”, as explained by BSSDC’s Form 990 in which “exorbitant salaries disproportionate to the services they rendered” can be observed.

Because The Ohio Fraudulent Transfer Act nullifies “every conveyance made with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud a present or future creditor”, the transfers performed by John Hopkins (CDC’s Executive Director) along with Councilman Ken Johnson and his assistant, Garnell Jamison, would qualify as a violation of the Act.

 

The complaint states,

“In recent years, Defendant Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation has had revenues in excess of $1,000,000 per year, and paid yearly compensation to disqualified employees – those individuals in a position to exercise control over the organization- in excess of $500,000. Yet, beginning in July 2018 and continuing thereafter, BSSDC has had insufficient funds to pay (or otherwise refused to pay) its employees whose hourly wages are at or near Ohio’s requisite minimum wage.”

Among the 50+ employees involved in the lawsuit include a 16-year old whose mother claims the organization owes her son $1,200 for hours worked during the summer. Although funding for the BSSDC was cut off in June due to the failure to produce a financial audit for the third year in a row, the 16-year old claims Jamison told him to keep working despite the lack of funds.

Perlmuter intends to ask the court to permit any affected workers the opportunity to opt-in to the class action suit.

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