What appeared to be a relatively straightforward insurance fraud case got complicated last Friday when the defendants’ attorney accused the Santa Barbara District Attorney of targeting his clients after receiving pressure from unions to remove competition.

Ron Bamieh, a prominent Ventura-based lawyer who is representing Santa Barbara paving company United Seal Coating and its owner Alberto “Al” Rodriquez, said in a prepared statement on January 16 that District Attorney Joyce Dudley and her office charged his clients after submitting to “several years of pressure from labor unions” that dislike Rodriquez’s “non-union” business.

“The charges have only been brought because Al was able to provide construction more efficiently and economically than union companies on construction jobs on the UCSB campus,” said Bamieh.

The investigation into United Seal Coating began three years ago, Bamieh said, after Rodriguez refused to become a union shop at the request of a labor union. “Rodriquez was told when he said no that he would have lots of problems, and lo and behold, now he has lots of problems,” Bamieh said.


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