Late last month, Wynn Resorts was called out for being behind on paying the companies that built its new Encore Boston Harbor resort. The casino operator was accused of being negligent in fulfilling its obligations to pay around $30 million to a subcontractor, Coghlin Electrical Contractors, for work it had completed, but Wynn responded by passing the buck to the main building contractor, Suffolk Construction. Suffolk responded by saying that it was caught in the middle and that it wanted to help find a peaceful solution for everyone as quickly as possible. With no resolution yet found, things are beginning to heat up and Suffolk’s peaceful stance is starting to become more agitated.
According to a report by the Worcester Business Journal, Coghlin, which is owned by Sue Mailman, is still waiting to be paid about $27 million for work the company did at the Encore site. However, Suffolk counters that neither Mailman nor the company has produced any paperwork to show that it is still owed money.
Coghlin brought in around 200 electricians to work on the project and says that they have all been paid by the company, but that some of their benefits had to be delayed because of the lack of payment from Suffolk. Mailman adds, “Here we are at the end of the job, and what are we going to get?”
Suffolk has reportedly paid $70 million for its work on the resort, but that it has not seen any documents to show that another $27 million still needs to be paid. Suffolk VP of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Linda Dorcena Forry adds, “In fact, Coghlin recently and unexpectedly added millions of dollars to its list of claims without providing any meaningful documentation to substantiate those claims.”
The back-and-forth continues, with Mailman asserting that Suffolk, one of the largest construction companies in the U.S., has the documentation. She adds that she’s not sure if a litigious battle would do any good because it might prevent companies from wanting to work with Coghlin, but she feels that “it’s the right thing” to do.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is keeping its eye on the situation in hopes of finding a quick resolution. The resolution seems simple enough, even though it would involve a serious amount of paperwork. Both companies on either side of the table with the MGC at the head. Both provide copies of their invoices and payment receipts and find out what, if anything, doesn’t match up. Construction invoices are typically coded by job, so following a paper trail shouldn’t be that difficult.