Attorney General Suing Watertown Construction Company for Reporting False Wages

The following announcement was sent out by the Office of the Attorney General:

Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell announced today that her office has filed suit against Avatar Construction Corp. of Watertown and its owner, Nazar Vincent, for violating the Massachusetts False Claims Act by underpaying workers in five municipal construction contracts for which it was the prime contractor.   

The complaint, filed March 14 in Suffolk Superior Court, alleges that Avatar knowingly used fraudulent payroll forms created by its subcontractor to obtain payment and concealed the fact that workers were paid far less than the required prevailing wage rates. The complaint alleges that the wages falsely reported by Avatar also far exceeded what it was actually paying its subcontractor.    

“The Prevailing Wage Law is crucial for ensuring that workers on public construction projects in Massachusetts receive fair and equal wages,” AG Campbell said. “As we push for greater economic mobility for our residents, my office will continue to firmly enforce our laws to hold businesses accountable that fail to play by the rules and exploit their workers.”  

In June 2021, the AG’s Fair Labor Division received a complaint alleging that Avatar’s contractor was not paying the prevailing wage on a public job despite representations by Avatar to city and town officials that it was. The Division conducted an investigation concluding that Avatar and its subcontractor, Gonza Construction, Inc., submitted false payroll records on public projects in Cambridge, Lawrence, Stoughton and Watertown, underpaying workers by at least $171,095.   

The Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Law sets the minimum hourly wage rates allowable for certain classifications of workers on public construction projects in the Commonwealth.

Cannabis Company with Local Dispensary Settles After AG Finds it Withheld Tips

Bud’s Goods, which recently opened a location in Watertown, will reimburse employees at other locations after the Attorney General’s office found that the company had withheld more than $30,000 in cash tips. The complaint alleged that the company withheld $33,000 in tips from employees working at its store in Abington and Worcester in 2021. Bud’s Goods opened its Watertown location on May 20, 2022. Some of the money was reportedly used to buy food for employees, or was given to them as up to $60 in store credit. The person who made the complaint said the money was put in a lock box and employees were never told how much in tips went into the box.

Watertown Democrats Hosting Candidate for Governor, Possible AG Hopeful During Virtual Meeting

The following information was provided by the Watertown Democratic Town Committee:

The Watertown Democratic Town Committee will be meeting this Thursday, January 27th at 7:30 over Zoom. We will hear from guest speakers, State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz who is running for Governor and Quinton Palfrey who is exploring a run for Attorney General. To get the Zoom link email the chair of the committee, Will Pennington at

Middlesex Sheriff Receives Money to Expand Youth Public Safety Academy

The following information was provided by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office:

Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian today announced the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) has been awarded nearly $3,700 from Attorney General Maura Healey’s Healthy Summer Youth Jobs Grant Program to help support the MSO’s 20th Annual Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA). “We are grateful to Attorney General Healey for providing this funding which allows us to hire an additional counselor and expand the number of cadets we are able to accept into this year’s YPSA,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “Not only does this grant provide an opportunity for more cadets to participate in this program, but also for a young adult to work in an environment where they can mentor younger neighbors.”

YPSA is a series of six, one-week long camps designed for children ages 8-12 who live in Middlesex County. Cadets spend the week with MSO staff as well as police officers and firefighters from their hometown, forming important bonds with their local law enforcement officials. Cadets also participate in classroom and practical activities designed to teach them important public safety skills including a simulated fire safety trailer offered by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, a challenge course held at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Billerica, and demonstrations offered by the MSO and partner agencies. “Our summer jobs program provides young people across the state with an opportunity to challenge themselves and make a difference in their own community,” AG Healey said.

Watertown Watertown Teen Joins Attorney General for Announcement of Vaping Investigation

Watertown High School student Shariel Joseph spoke during Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s announcement of the investigation into vaping and e-cigarette companies on Tuesday. Joseph, who will be senior in the fall, has been involved in anti-tobacco efforts as a Watertown Youth Coalition Peer Leader. At the announcement she represented The 84 Movement, a group of youth from Massachusetts fighting against tobacco. During her address, Joseph talked about how “JUULing” (named after the leading vaping equipment company JUUL) became a big thing at Watertown High School, and she saw students using them in school bathrooms, the hallways and even classrooms.

“From the beginning of my junior year to the end there was a huge increase of people JUUL-ing,” Joseph said. “Before there were a few people who JUUL-ed but now it seems like everyone is JUUL-ing, especially since it is summer, now.

Warren Tolman Thanks People for Their Support During the Campaign

Watertown’s Warren Tolman send out a thank you letter to his supporters during his campaign for Attorney General, despite the outcome. Here is Tolman’s letter:
Dear Friend,
Thank you! These past ten months have been an exciting journey. Even though last Tuesday was not our day, I am incredibly grateful for your support throughout this campaign. While our mission did not end as we had hoped, I am very proud of the campaign we ran and the dedicated team which worked tirelessly to build a winning coalition stretching across Massachusetts.

See How Watertown’s Candidates Fared in the Primary Election

Tuesday treated one Watertown candidate well, and another finished the Primary Election on the wrong side of the vote. Former State Sen. Warren Tolman lost his race in the Democratic primary for attorney general to Maura Healey. Tolman conceded Tuesday night. Healey had received 62 percent of the vote with 89 percent of the precincts reporting. Healey faces Republican John Miller in November’s general election.