Federal courthouse guards finally paid for summer work - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Federal courthouse guards finally paid for summer work

Shannon James, a guard's wife, said she had no idea something was wrong until her checks started to bounce Shannon James, a guard's wife, said she had no idea something was wrong until her checks started to bounce
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SPOKANE, Wash. - Late is better than never if you're a federal security guard in the Inland Northwest.

More than 200 security guards, working in such places as the Federal Courthouse in downtown Spokane and as far away as Boise, were finally paid on November 1 for six weeks of work completed over the summer. The guards received checks from the U.S. Treasury Department.

The dilemma played out like this: Federal Protective Services hired a contractor, HWA Inc., to handle pay for the guards. Under the contract, the federal government would give HWA the funds to pay the guards. Federal Protective Services discovered that HWA was not paying the guards, canceled the contract on September 5 and hired a different contractor to pay the guards.

Former HWA employee Bill Flynn of Oregon says he's relieved to finally have the much needed income.

"We got paid, but not without a long battle," said Flynn.

When the ordeal began, families of the guards had no idea what was going on.

Shannon James, a guard's wife, paid her family's bills as normal, but said, soon, her checks started to bounce.

"We had to take loans out from the bank, I have a tremendous amount of fees already incurred" said Shannon in September.

HWA Inc. is under investigation and charges may be forthcoming.

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