A lawsuit involving illegal immigration and tax fraud is raising key questions for Jim Pillen, one of the GOP’s top candidates for governor.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Nebraska and examined by News Channel Nebraska, accuses top management and others in Pillen’s giant hog operation, Pillen Family Farms, of hiring undocumented workers and dodging tax payments by classifying workers as “contract” labor.
At the heart of the lawsuit is Luis Lucar, described as the company’s human relations specialist, who was fired in 2019 and is “Hispanic, Latino…his skin color is brown.”
The suit says Lucar’s termination notice states that he was fired because of his “inability to work with our team.”
Lucar say he agrees he couldn’t work with the team and spent four years repeatedly complaining to the company’s top brass, managers and supervisors about the operation’s hiring and employment practices, as well as illegal activities which included “submitting falsified documents to the United States government.”
According to Pillen’s campaign website, illegal immigration is a “national security threat…and exploits the vulnerable.”
Part of the eight-page lawsuit notes that Lucar filed “timely administrative charges” with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission and the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The suit says the federal agency issued a “right to sue letter” on July 19, two days before the lawsuit was filed.
In the suit, Lucar complains that the company’s unlawful conduct has cost Lucar among other things “lost wages and job-related benefits.” He is asking for an unspecified amount of punitive financial damages.
Pillen, a University of Nebraska Regent, is one of three GOP candidates for governor next year.
Falls City cattle king Charles Herbster and State Senator Brett Lindstrom of Omaha are also in the race. And as News Channel Nebraska first reported former Governor Dave Heineman is strongly considering a run.
According to the Pillen Family Farms website the company has “the best people, best pigs, and best genetic options.”
The Pillen campaign has released the following statement:
Pillen Family Farms is a family-owned, family-run business that uses industry-leading screening practices, including E-Verify and two additional internal processes for ID verification, to ensure its employees have U.S. work authorization.
All of Mr. Lucar's allegations are completely baseless and false.
Mr. Lucar, a disgruntled former employee terminated for poor performance, is an anti-conservative, pro-illegal immigration activist lying about the Pillen family.
His frivolous lawsuit is being driven by a liberal law firm helmed by a former Democrat National Committeeman with a history of unsuccessfully suing Nebraska conservatives, including Governor Ricketts.
These liberal lies are defamatory and false, a clear effort by Democrats to smear the strongest, most conservative candidate for Governor of Nebraska. This is why it’s so hard to get good people to run for office.