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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Guards not paid, wives say


Almost 100 guards at federal courthouses across the Inland Northwest are working without pay, according to family members who say they have not been paid in weeks.

The guards, from Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Boise and other cities in the region, have not been paid in more than a month, according to a report by KHQ.

“We are very upset. I can’t sleep at night,” Anne Stephens, whose husband is a guard, told KHQ. “He had a heart attack in March; this is not what he needs.”

Stephens, along with another guard’s wife, Shannon James, said they paid their bills as usual, but soon their checks started to bounce.

“We had to take loans out from the bank. I have a tremendous amount of fees already incurred,” James said. “We’re trying to buy a house and that might not happen.”

The families’ canceled checks and late fees are a paper trail that’s left them and others scrambling to get by.

The families have had trouble trying to pin down what is wrong with the pay system.

“Everybody that can be contacted has been contacted,” James said. “No one is giving straight answers. … We’re being told 60 to 90 days is the fastest anybody can do anything to help with this.”

The guards have been told they will be paid at the end of September for the next two weeks of work, but it could take up to 90 days to get paid for their work in August.

KHQ was unable to reach federal courthouse officials, or the company that contracts to issue paychecks to guards, for comment.

The families are discussing filing a lawsuit.

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