NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – The company that was helping Newport News Police patrol the East End is now in the heat of controversy. The owner is accused of not paying his employees.
“I’ve been with him about a month and never seen a paycheck,” said former employee Trai Grant. “I have a 2-year-old daughter and I have her mom. Having no money coming in every other week or once a month is tough.”
Grant is one of 10 employees waiting to get a paycheck from Newhope Security.
Two weeks ago, 10 On Your Side featured the company because it was helping the Newport News Police Department patrol the East End, all for the purpose of cutting down crime. Police said the money to pay security officers was coming out of the business owner’s pocket, but employees say the owner, Kendrick Turner, told them a different story.
“He had us believing the work we were doing with the city was a contract,” said former employee James McCoy. “He told everybody it was a contract through the city.”
But police tell 10 On Your Side there was no such contract.
“I haven’t seen anything, and he keeps claiming he’s waiting on the mailman or waiting on UPS to bring the checks in, but it’s all been lies,” McCoy added.
McCoy said he is owed about $2,000, money he fears he will never see.
“Man, that’s my livelihood right there. I need that money to pay my bills,” he said.
Employees say they were told they’d get paid May 15, but that date came and went with no money. So 10 On Your Side went to get answers from Tuner.
“I believe in telling the truth and doing what I’m supposed to do,” Turner told WAVY.com.
10 On Your Side asked Turner where the money to pay employees is coming from: “I got different contracts. The money is coming from different contracts to pay the officers, and that’s all I got to say about that,” he said.
Turner told us those contracts were to do security at other businesses, but he then admitted he doesn’t have the proper permits to run the business and was forced to shut it down.
“The people will be getting paid according,” Turner said. “They get paid on the first. They don’t get paid nothing more or nothing less until the first.”