Delco D.A.: Owners stiffed workers, paid selves

Donald Kirk , 66, of Cape May, is a co-owner.
Donald Kirk , 66, of Cape May, is a co-owner.
Posted: May 21, 2014

The co-owners of a Delaware County electrical company were charged Monday with failing to make almost $275,000 in health-care, pension, and other payments to their unionized employees - though records show the funds were available.

Donald Kirk, 66, of Cape May, and John Parks, 69, of Garnet Valley, co-owners of Rite-Way Electric and an affiliated company, Rite-Way Construction, in Chester Township, were charged with theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, theft by unlawful taking of disposition, and receiving stolen property.

The two were arraigned and released on $75,000 unsecured bail, the county District Attorney's Office said.

According to court documents, the business manager for Electricians Local 654, which had represented employees of both entities, met with police in April 2012 after Rite-Way Electric failed to make payments over a six-month period.

The electric company, which handled paperwork for both companies, was sending the union between $45,000 and $50,000 each month to cover payroll deductions. The union would then distribute the money to employees' accounts, according to court documents.

In November 2011, Rite-Way Electric closed. A month later, the company was forced into bankruptcy. Records showed the company had four business accounts with ample business capital, according to court records.

Between July 2011 and February 2012, the two men continued to pay their own salaries, make withdrawals, and write checks from various accounts, according to court documents.

The two men opened a bank account for Kirk Parks Enterprises, the real estate arm of Rite-Way Electric. In November 2011, a $30,000 check from Rite-Way Electric was deposited, with 10 more the following month totaling $72,000, according to court documents. All but $8.99 was withdrawn by February 2012.

When asked by police about $25,000 he withdrew from one account, Kirk said he had "no idea" about the check in question. When asked about a $50,000 deposit from Rite-Way Electric into his personal account, Kirk told police he had no idea why the check was written, according to court documents.

In November 2011, Parks had a cashier's check for $50,000 written to his attorney from one of the company accounts, according to court records.

Kirk said funds for Rite-Way Electric and Kirk Parks Enterprises were never commingled, according to court records.


mschaefer@phillynews.com

610-313-8111

@MariSchaefer

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