An electrical contractor says Trump's company hasn't paid its bills

By Madeline Farber
January 25, 2017

An electrical contractor is suing Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel for $2 million, court documents show.

After doing “nonstop” work on the Trump International D.C. before it opened in October of last year, the contractor, Freestate Electrical, alleges that Trump’s company hasn’t paid its bills, according to court documents obtained by Politico. The suit was filed in D.C. Superior Court by Freestate.

In court documents, the contract claims it was rushed while working on electrical and fire alarm systems in the hotel — just before the then-candidate Trump was slated to make a visit in September for the hotel’s “soft opening” before its grand opening the next month, according to Politico.

“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, prior to the ‘soft opening,’ at significant additional cost and expense for which Freestate expected payment,” the complaint says, according to Politico. “Subsequent to the Hotel’s ‘soft opening,’ Freestate was required to continue its acceleration efforts and the performance of extra work in order to permit the ‘grand opening’ of the Trump Hotel by October 26, 2016.”

Throughout the suit, there were “several references” made to “the importance to Trump’s presidential ambitions of getting the hotel open,” Politico reports. Trump allegedly wanted to use the hotel for positive press coverage during his campaign, according to the suit.

The same company filed a lien on the Trump property last month, according to Politico, which it took to court on Thursday, Jan 19.—the day before Trump’s inauguration. Freestate went to court due to concerns Trump might divest his financial interest in the project, according to Politico. However, “the hotel operates under a lease from the federal government that says federal officeholders should not benefit from the arrangement,” Politico reports, adding that “Trump’s lawyers contend that provision only restricts participants in the lease at its outset and not situations that arise after the lease is signed.”

Trump has yet to divest himself from any of his businesses and has given official control of them to his sons.

Along with Trump, another defendant in the suit is Lend Lease of New York—the general contractor on the Trump hotel project, according to Politico. Freestate alleges that the firm is holding back funds from the company “at the Trump Organization’s direction, Politico reports.

Both the Trump Organization and Lend Lease did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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