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Illegal McDonald’s worker leads to $400,000 fine

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, at 1:14 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at 10:26 p.m.

A Wichita company that owns six McDonald’s restaurants in Wichita agreed Wednesday to pay $400,000 in fines after pleading guilty to knowingly hiring an illegal worker, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced today.

McCalla Corporation, a McDonald’s franchisee with offices at 9342 E. Central in Wichita, was charged today with one felony count of knowingly accepting a fraudulent identification document offered as proof that an employee was eligible to work, Grissom said.

He said the charge involves a supervisor who worked at the McDonald’s at 1630 S. Hillside from May 2009 until September. The corporation also owns McDonald’s restaurants at 11989 E. Kellogg, 501 E. Pawnee, 1219 S. Rock Road, 2418 S. Seneca and 1645 S. Webb Road.

“Employment is the primary driving force behind illegal immigration,” Grissom said in a written statement. “I’m calling on all Kansas employers to strengthen their hiring practices and to help us safeguard this nation by hiring and maintaining a lawful workforce.”

Roy McCalla, president of the McCalla Corporation, said in a statement released by his lawyer that the charge represents a “single isolated incident … based on the action of one individual who is no longer employed by the company.

“I want to make it very clear that this one incident does not reflect the corporate policies of the McCalla Corporation or those of its franchisor corporation,” he said. “The fact that one worker slipped through the cracks is not an indictment of the company’s efforts to comply with the law.”

Grissom countered that the investigation, which was begun in February 2011, uncovered evidence that “numerous” illegal workers had worked at McCalla.

“It was intentional,” he said. “It was not an honest mistake.”

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