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L.A. County supervisors bicker over unpaid security guards

Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky clash over $200,000 owed to the guards, who went unpaid when the contractor that employed them filed for bankruptcy.

September 16, 2009|Garrett Therolf

When a security firm contracting with Los Angeles County went bankrupt earlier this year, hundreds of workers were not paid for their hours guarding county clinics, Sheriff's Department buildings and Fire Department facilities.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Gloria Molina urged county lawyers to find a way to pay them about $200,000 in wages she said they are due, prompting a bitter exchange among her colleagues.

International Services Inc., which placed nearly 800 guards in county facilities, filed for bankruptcy after its president and chief executive, Ousama "Sam" Karawia, 45, was charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, grand theft, making false statements and insurance fraud.

Molina's motion drew fire from Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who said the workers' grievances were with their former employer.

He successfully argued to have the motion decided at next week's meeting.

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garrett.therolf@latimes.com

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