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State re-hires janitorial company targeted in 2007 immigration sting

Friday, October 1, 2010 | 11:55 a.m. CDT; updated 12:29 p.m. CDT, Friday, October 1, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — The janitorial company that generated national news after a 2007 immigration raid in a state government building is working for the Missouri government once again.

Sam's Janitorial Services, owned by Kwabena Asamoah-Boadu, has been contracted to clean several of the state's government buildings in Jefferson City, said Wanda Seeney, spokeswoman at the state Department of Labor.

"There was a court order that required the Office of Administration to remove Sam's Janitorial from the debarment list and put them back on the list of state vendors," Seeney said in an e-mail.

The renewed employment with the state comes three years after authorities detained roughly two dozen of the Sam's Janitorial employees in an immigration raid on the Truman Building in Jefferson City. Only a few of the detained workers were found guilty, according to an earlier Associated Press story.

Then-Gov. Matt Blunt signed an executive order that requires state agencies to terminate contracts with companies employing illegal workers. The state canceled nine contracts with the cleaning service and added the company to a no-hire list.

Asamoah-Boadu sued, arguing his contracts had been breached when they were terminated because of the illegal workers. The court decided Asamoah-Boadu had not knowingly hired illegal foreigners and ruled in his favor. He was awarded $152,000 for lost wages and removed from the debarment list.

In January, Asamoah-Boadu filed a new name registration for his business with the secretary of state after his old one expired last fall.

Another company with the same business address as Sam's Janitorial Services filed with the secretary of state just two months after the March 2007 immigration raid. JC Cleaners is owned by son Kofi Asamoah-Boadu and also offers its janitorial services to the state. The company begins a new contract cleaning three Jefferson City government buildings today.

Kofi Asamoah-Boadu said the two janitorial businesses are not affiliated and that none of the employees or management are the same.

"I have my own company. My dad has his own company. If you'll look at the record, all these buildings we been bidding, we bid separate," Kofi Asamoah-Boadu said.

He said the address is the same because the pair lived in the same house at the time of the filings.

"I used to live there. I don't live there no more," he said. "Do you understand that?"

Kofi Asamoah-Boadu refused to say if he took steps to ensure his company did not hire illegal foreigners before he hung up the phone.

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