PAYROLL PROBLEMS: Metro Business Closes

Dozens of construction workers are out of a paycheck Tuesday after a West Des Moines business closed its doors.

Employees at Redstone Painting and Finishes Company thought today was the day they would finally get paid.  But instead of collecting their paychecks, they learned they’re going to have to start collecting unemployment.

“This is my letter from the bank saying my check had insufficient funds,” says Erin Ruiz.

By the time Ruiz realized that her husband’s paycheck from Redstone had bounced, she had already paid bills with it.  The overdraft notices from the bank kept coming.  She said her husband’s boss of two years, Rob Knudsen, promised to make things right.

“There was nothing else to go on but his word saying you know the funds are going to be there one more day, one more day,” says Ruiz.

Tuesday morning, workers showed up to find the business locked.

The note on the door said the business was forced to close effective immediately.  It goes on to say that all of the efforts to save the company were unsuccessful.

Redstone names the Henning company for refusing to pay for work completed in West Des Moines, the Hansen Company for pulling the Younkers contract in June, the Wolin Company for not extending the lease at the warehouse, and Northwest Bank for not working with them during the “tight cash flow period”.

“This money that he was supposed to get paid, that’s our mortgage payment,  that’s our electric bill,” says Ruiz.

With six kids to feed and only one income now, Ruiz says playing the blame game won’t help her family makes ends meet.

“People are really upset which they have every right to be,” she says.

Knudsen could not be reached for further comment.

Calls to three of the four businesses listed in the letter to employees were returned.  The Hansen company could not be reached. The owner of the Wolin company says Knudsen is four months behind on rent.  He fought his eviction in court, but lost.