David Weyrich's Carlton Hotel sued by state

The Carlton Hotel in Atascadero.
The Carlton Hotel in Atascadero. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The state labor commissioner has filed a lawsuit against David Weyrich’s Carlton Hotel Investments LLC for labor violations, seeking at least $450,000 in lost wages and penalties.

The owner of the historic hotel in downtown Atascadero is accused of six labor code violations, including failure to pay wages when due, failure to pay minimum wages and failure to pay overtime.

The lawsuit, filed Monday by the state Department of Industrial Relations in Paso Robles’ Superior Court, lists violations involving an estimated 60 workers employed by the hotel since October 2009, according to court documents.

According to the lawsuit, Weyrich owes at least $300,000 in penalties, and $150,000 in unpaid wages and overtime.

This is the second blow leveled by the state against The Carlton Hotel within about a month.

On Feb. 3, the Board of Equalization revoked the Carlton’s bar and restaurant seller’s permit, which caused it to shut down, because of its failure to pay the state taxes.

Weyrich has been attempting to keep the hotel afloat in spite of crushing debts that have forced him to surrender key properties to foreclosure, including his luxury bed-and-breakfast inn in Paso Robles, the Villa Toscana.

The Carlton, originally built as an annex to the Atascadero Inn in 1929, owes millions of dollars to its creditor R.E. Loans, which also is in default, according to a spokesman for the lender, Barney Ng.

The property — assessed at nearly $14 million — has $451,865 in current and back property taxes due to the county.

Weyrich also owes personal income taxes of nearly $465,000, according to Brenda Voet of the state Franchise Tax Board.

In recent months, The Carlton has been under increasing pressure from former employees who filed at least 18 wage claims with the state, including claims of not being paid weekly wages or being given checks that bounced, according to documents filed with the state’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Weyrich could not be reached for comment Monday.