State Rep. Mike Turner officially filed a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Labor on Thursday morning that alleges the chief contractor for Nashville’s new convention center has employed illegal immigrants.
In the complaint, Turner said “confidential conversations with individuals working on the [Music City Center] job site” have revealed that the Bell/Clark construction team is employing “illegal alien workers” to perform services on the site.
“While I am not employed at the job site and do not have the ability to personally verify these allegations, I know the persons who have witnessed the employment of illegal aliens at the convention center job site and know that they are credible individuals,” Turner said in the complaint.
Turner, who serves as the House Democratic Caucus Chair, has called for the state labor department to conduct an inquiry to determine whether the people working are illegal immigrants to the United States and qualified to work at the 16-acre convention center site.
Turner goes further in the complaint, citing two previous instances he claims suggest the Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Construction has a “history of hiring illegal aliens.” He attached two newspaper articles that he said backs up the allegation, the most recent of which is two years old.
“Assuming that the articles describe the same company, they further support the evidence I have gathered, which strongly suggests that illegal aliens have been hired for work on the convention center project,” Turner said in the complaint.
Clark Construction has teamed with Nashville-based Bell & Associates Construction in overseeing construction for Music City Center. The joint company’s contract is with Metro’s Convention Center Authority.
Mayor Karl Dean, who led the Metro Council’s approval of the $585 million facility in January, said yesterday that Turner should share “real information” pertaining to illegal immigrants working on the job site if he has it.