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Electricians who rushed work on President Trump’s newly opened hotel in Washington, D.C., say they are owed more than $2 million, and the contractor has filed a lawsuit to force payment.
Freestate Electrical filed the suit in D.C. Superior Court alleging Trump’s company asked for a rush order on the hotel before its soft opening in September and the grand opening shortly before Election Day to complete fire alarm and electrical work.
Trump’s company paid $15 million on the contract, but withheld payment on the final installment, the lawsuit says.
“Acceleration of Freestate’s work required Freestate’s crews to work nonstop, seven days per week, 10 to 14 hours per day, for nearly 50 consecutive days,” the lawsuit says, adding the extra work was at the Trump company’s direction so that it could open before the election and get positive press coverage.
The lawsuit alleges Trump’s company agreed to pay one-third of the remaining bill, which the electricians deem “unreasonable.” The electrical company formerly filed a lien on the hotel for unpaid work.
“Trump’s actions in refusing to pay for work performed, after a project has opened, is a repeated practice of the Trump Organization on various projects; evidencing a typical business practice meant to force subcontractors to accept ‘pennies on the dollar,” the lawsuit alleges.
Attorneys for the electricians also took time in the filing to point out the confusion over Trump’s continued lease with the General Services Administration.
That 2014 lease, attached as an exhibit to the suit and signed by Trump, says “no elected official of the Government of the United States shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.”
Attorneys for the Trump Organization did not immediately return a request for comment.