by Jim Nintzel
Congressman Jeff Flake has rolled out a new TV ad hammering his opponent in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, Wil Cardon, over charges that Cardon's Subway stores hired illegal workers.
The Arizona Republic broke the story Sunday. An excerpt from the in-depth article:
In the case of immigration, some of Cardon's business interests have drawn scrutiny from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A Subway franchise company co-owned by Cardon was fined three years ago for federal violations related to failure to document the legal status of more than 150 employees suspected of being illegal immigrants, federal and state records show.
Investigators for ICE reported that nearly half of the 315 employees at some Subway restaurants owned by RCC Partners were believed to be "undocumented alien workers." Investigators also reported that their employer failed to comply with federal employment-eligibility paperwork. Two of the ownership groups for RCC Partners are at least partly owned by Cardon, according to state corporate records.
The Cardon campaign attempted to downplay Cardon's involvement in his company's operation:
David Leibowitz, a spokesman for Cardon, said Cardon didn't have close management oversight of the stores investigated by ICE. He said Cardon had a 28 percent stake in the Subway franchise company, RCC Partners, which meant others were responsible for its operations.
"Wil has never exercised day-to-day control over this business. He doesn't do the hiring and firing in this business," Leibowitz said. "The only way that Wil's ever met an RCC employee is when he stops in to order a sandwich."
We'd hoped to talk to Cardon directly about the story, but he canceled an interview scheduled with Tucson Weekly today.