The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

March 10, 2014

Collecting disabled workers' judgment difficult

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal and state officials are having trouble collecting the multimillion-dollar judgment a Texas company was ordered to pay for mistreating 32 mentally disabled workers at an Iowa labor camp.

The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1nwRGmj ) Henry's Turkey Service of Goldthwaite, Texas, has yet to pay nearly $6 million in judgment money and fines against the company and its leader Kenneth Henry.

A jury agreed last year that Henry's discriminated against its employees, who were hired out to work at an Iowa turkey processing plant. The initial verdict was the largest in the history of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which brought the case.

Henry's Turkey Service sent hundreds of mentally disabled men from Texas to labor camps in seven states.

In Iowa, the 32 mentally disabled men lived in a dilapidated former schoolhouse in Atalissa for years. They were paid roughly $65 a month no matter how many hours they worked and endured verbal and physical abuse.

The Iowa operation was shut down in 2009 after family members reported the conditions to state officials.

So far, federal officials have collected assets worth between $30,000 and $40,000, and they're collecting about $3,500 in monthly lease payments on land owned by Henry.

Iowa regulators say they don't plan to pursue the $1.1 million in penalties the company owes the state because it appears unlikely Henry's will pay.

"Because of the bankruptcy filing, it's likely none of the penalties will be collected," said Kerry Koonce, spokeswoman for the state labor commissioner.

Attorney Robert Canino, who represented the workers, said he and federal Justice Department officials continue looking for ways to collect what is owed to the men.

Records suggest that Henry and his business partner owned a Texas ranch worth $2.5 million in 2009, and the company owned property worth between $3 million and $4 million.

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Propane suppliers: buy ahead to avoid price spikes DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — State officials and propane suppliers are advising consumers to fill their tanks before cold weather arrives because prices could climb again this winter. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1obSe2U ) prices will

    July 23, 2014

  • Woman convicted of murder in Des Moines stabbing DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A woman has been convicted of stabbing to death a 28-year-old man in Des Moines last year. The Des Moines Register says (http://dmreg.co/1nTD5yx ) 22-year-old Miranda Rose Petithory Metcalf was found guilty of second-degree mu

    July 23, 2014

  • Sioux City escape returned to jail SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A man missing from a Sioux City work release facility since July 12 is back in jail after he was located in a Sioux City apartment. The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1rztX9D ) Dexter James-Lloyd No Ear was taken in

    July 23, 2014

  • Burlington City Council fails to censure member BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — An evenly divided Burlington City Council failed to pass a resolution censuring one of its own members for cursing and storming out of a meeting earlier this month. The Burlington Hawk Eye reports (http://bit.ly/1ucN6jT ) the

    July 23, 2014

  • Free meals available to more Des Moines students DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines Public Schools plans to offer free meals to all students at more schools beginning this fall. District officials say 35 Des Moines schools and three early learning centers will offer free breakfasts and lunches for

    July 23, 2014

  • Report: Iowa third among states in child well-being DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new national report on the well-being of children released Tuesday ranked Iowa third in the nation, up four places from last year, the best showing for the state in 25 years. The Kids Counts report from the Annie E. Casey Fo

    July 23, 2014

  • Power switched off in 300 Iowa homes amid heat CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — An energy company says it switched off power in hundreds of Iowa homes to work on power lines this week as temperatures reached almost 90 degrees. Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports (http://bit.ly/1nTJrxO ) Alliant

    July 23, 2014

  • Demoted Iowa police chief wants to get reinstated NASHUA, Iowa (AP) — The former police chief of a northern Iowa city is fighting to get his job back after being demoted. Former Nashua Police Chief Ernie Willsher and his attorney argued Monday night at city council that he be reinstated. KIMT-TV rep

    July 22, 2014

  • Iowa police investigate why officer shot vehicle DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa police are trying to determine why an officer fired a bullet into a car involved in a high-speed chase. The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1p5aGXC ) Polk County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jana Abens said M

    July 22, 2014

  • Eddyville gets $1M federal grant for flood project EDDYVILLE, Iowa (AP) — The city of Eddyville is getting more than $1 million to improve its stormwater handling system to protect the city from Des Moines River flooding. The funding, announced Monday by U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, comes from the Federa

    July 22, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National