Officials with the state Labor Department said Wednesday that embattled insurance executive Earl O’Garro Jr. and his wife Kendra must respond by Thursday to a request that they pay $8,000 in back wages to former employees of their Middletown restaurant.
If they do not respond, the department will pursue arrest warrants for the O’Garros, said Gary Pechie, director of the wage and workplace standards division.
The department has received five complaints from employees of the now-defunct Us Restaurant & Lounge, who say O’Garro and his wife owe them wages.
“We have sent a demand letter for the wages to both Earl O’Garro and his wife requesting payment of about $8,000 by March 27,” Pechie said. “If we do not receive a response we will be seeking a warrant for the arrest of both of them.”
Earl O’Garro could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
Kendra O’Garro said that although she helped run the restaurant, the establishment was never in her name and Earl was responsible for payroll. She said Wednesday that she has filed a motion in family court demanding that Earl disclose his assets and pay the employees. She said she does not have the money to pay the employees.
Earl O’Garro filed for divorce in October. The case is pending.
Us Restaurant & Lounge, which opened in March 2013, closed in September.
Earl O’Garro is the chief executive officer of Hybrid Insurance Group and the target of a federal grand jury investigation. Officials have said he failed to pay $670,000 in premiums to insurers for the city of Hartford. He also is accused of not forwarding to insurance carriers hundreds of thousands of dollars more in premium payments that he received from other companies.