www.timesunion.com, Lauren Stanforth, March 28, 2022
ALBANY — The owner of a construction firm has been charged with a felony for allegedly working on a University of Albany project without providing workers' compensation insurance, according to the state Inspector General's office Monday.
The IG's office said in a statement that Leroy Nelson Jr., 41, owner of JRN Construction, had a felony charge filed Monday in Albany City Court because he had been convicted previously of workers' compensation fraud in a case from Amsterdam, Montgomery County, in 2019.
Nelson allegedly was contracted to do a rehabilitation project at UAlbany and employed six workers as of Nov. 22, 2020, but "without securing workers’ compensation insurance coverage, which is a violation of Workers’ Compensation Law § 52(1)(a)," the IG's office said.
“If a worker had been injured in this instance, the worker and the state potentially bear the responsibility for medical bills, and lost time," Inspector General Lucy Lang said in a statement.
Not securing compensation for more than five employees is a class E felony. But in Nelson's case, because of a previous conviction, the charge moves up to a class D felony.
In the past case, the Daily Gazette reported in 2019 that one contractor attempted to get a permit for roofing in Amsterdam in fall 2018, but was ultimately rejected after city officials found he had employees but did not have workers' compensation insurance. The Inspector General's Office found Nelson's company then applied for the permit, and the other contractor still did the work.
Nelson was ultimately convicted in June 2019 of a misdemeanor in Amsterdam City Court. Article