Golf club firm says workers are legal

Cooperating with police, it says

August 08, 2008|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,Sun Reporter

The company that manages two Anne Arundel County-owned golf courses said yesterday it expects to demonstrate by next week that it is not employing illegal immigrants.

"We're cooperating with police, and it will likely be next week when it will be clearly established that our firm is in compliance with the law," said Richard L. Katz, a senior vice president at Casper Golf, which manages the Compass Pointe Golf Club in Pasadena and the Eisenhower Golf Course in Crownsville.

The county has been looking into the possibility that the company might be employing illegal immigrants at Compass Pointe. County Executive John R. Leopold issued an order last year that requires businesses hired by the county to sign a contract swearing they do not employ people living in the country illegally, and which allows the county to end relationships with contractors in violation of the law.

Representatives with Casper Golf have met with police twice, in meetings Katz called "cooperative, cordial and productive." A county police spokesman confirmed the meetings, but declined to comment further, pointing to the open investigation. County officials said Casper Golf has been cooperative.

County officials have requested that Casper Golf provide I-9 employment eligibility forms. Casper Golf wrote to the county attorney in a letter dated Aug.1 that county police "presented no authority on which we could justify turning over private employment records."

Casper Golf officials have said they discussed the police inquiry with their employees at both sites and several never came back to work.

Dennis Callahan, the county's chief operating officer, whom Leopold has designated to speak on the investigation, has voiced dissatisfaction with the golf officials for "tipping off" the employees.

"It still begs the question that I have," Callahan said yesterday. "How many people left? How many documents are we receiving? I still haven't had an explanation that satisfies me."

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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