N.Y. attorney general taking action against owners of Fort Drum Storage
By CRAIG FOX | Watertown Daily Times, N.Y. | Published: August 14, 2013
WATERTOWN, N.Y. — The state attorney general’s office plans to take action against the owners of Fort Drum Storage LLC for violating the state’s general business and labor laws in the way they treated both soldiers and their employees.
On Friday, the attorney general’s office notified owners JoAnn Sanchez-Norquist and John Norquist that Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman was to commence proceedings against the company for violating the state’s general business and labor laws.
It also filed a cease-and-desist notice with the owners to stop them from collecting money from Fort Drum soldiers who had stored vehicles with the company.
According to a letter to the owners, the basis of the action is “deceptive acts and false advertising in violation” of state business laws, failure to pay wages in violation of state labor laws, illegal copying of identification cards and illegal collection of fees.
The attorney general intends to seek a restraining order, injunctive relief, civil penalties and costs in the proceeding, according to the letter signed by Deanna R. Nelson, assistant attorney general in charge of the Watertown regional office.
Spc. Sereana J. Brockington, whose 2010 Dodge Charger was stored in Oswego County while she served in Afghanistan, was relieved to hear that the attorney general’s office was going after the owners. She insisted the company violated her contract — and all the soldiers’ — by storing the vehicles in Oswego County.
“It’ll be good that something is being done,” she said. “It’s good somebody cares.”
She ended up having to spend $800 to replace her Charger’s brakes because the muscle car sat idle while she was gone and the company failed to start and move it.
She was one of about 60 members of the 543rd Military Police Company, 91st MP Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade who found out that Fort Drum Storage LLP — also known as Indoor Vehicle Storage at 26390 Route 11 — was defunct and did not let them know what was going on with their vehicles when they returned home last month.
The attorney general continues to work with soldiers whose vehicles were stored in two warehousing facilities in Oswego County where the company abandoned them. So far, 29 vehicles have been recovered and 43 soldiers decided to keep the cars stored in Oswego County, the attorney general’s office said. The state still is trying to find out what 100 other soldiers want done with their vehicles, which continue to be stored at facilities in Sandy Creek and Oswego.
The business shut down earlier this summer, leaving soldiers scrambling to find out the whereabouts of their vehicles.
It is believed that Ms. Sanchez-Norquist, who could not be reached for comment, is now living in Las Vegas.
A copy of the cease-and-desist letter sent to the company can be found at http://wdt.me/Stw4DC.