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Posts tagged: Labor & Industries

Spokane man guilty of work comp theft

A Spokane man was found guilty Thursday of stealing more than $30,000 in worker's compensation benefits.

A Spokane County Superior Court jury ruled Christopher Koker, 53, continued to collect time-lost benefits under a 1999 claim for a work-related injury while organizing 11 guns shows in 2006 and 2007.

An investigation started after the Department of Labor & Industries received an anonymous tip also found Koker helping at a Spokane gun store.

The jury convicted Koker on 26 counts of second-degree theft. The verdict could bring a jail sentence of up to 29 months. He is also responsible for $31,309 in restitution.

Koker is scheduled to be sentenced April 6. 

Carl Hammersburg, L&I manager of Fraud Prevention and Compliance, said the Koker verdict keeps the department's 100 percent conviction rate intact.

Hearing Tuesday on workers’ compensation increase

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries will hold a hearing in Spokane Tuesday on its proposed 12 percent increase in workers' compensation premiums.

Average premiums would climb 6.5 cents per hour.

The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in the auditorium at the CenterPlace Regional Event Center in Spokane Valley. Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The increase takes effect on an emergency basis Jan. 1.

Drive-by paver leaves unhappy consumers

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries says an itinerant paving company has left behind numerous unsatisfied consumers in Eastern Washington.

Spokeswoman Selena Davis said the department has received 35 complaints against Asphalt Driveways, which has posted signs and flyers with a toll-free telephone number around the state.

Fly-by-night paving operators are common during the summer, she said, but Asphalt Driveways has victimized more consumers than usual.

One consumer said the new pavement was draining towards the foundation of his home, Davis said.

More typically, a thin layer of asphalt is put down on an unprepared or poorly prepared surface, she said.

Davis said L&I investigators have so far been unable to track down the company. 

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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