Couple at Tennessee Governor Bill Signing Recently Fined

June 18, 2012

A couple who posed with Gov. Bill Haslam during a recent bill signing ceremony on a new law on staff leasing companies were recently cited and fined for operating their company without a license.

The Tennessean newspaper reported Friday that Chris and Andrea Ball of Powell acknowledged through their attorney in April that their firm HR Comp LLC had acted as an employee leasing agency without a license.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance found that the Balls gave false statements about the company’s activities. A probationary license was issued after Andrea Ball acknowledged the false statement and paid a $10,000 civil penalty.

The department found that the HR Comp had a leasing agreement with Barden Enterprises, the parent company of a Knoxville sports bar that had between three and five employees.

“The department determined that Andrea Ball was not of good moral character because the Jan. 12, 2010, response she sent about HR Comp’s unlicensed activity was not true,” the consent order states.

Haslam aides and state lawmakers said they did not know who invited the Balls to the ceremony. The staff leasing bill was one of 25 measures signed into law by the governor on May 29.

The Balls apparently responded to a general message sent by the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations to Tennessee members, spokesman Adam Peer said.

Tim Knight, chief operating officer for the Balls’ company, said they received the email “and decided to take him up on it.” Knight told the newspaper that the consent agreement with the state “speaks for itself,” and that the Balls were not available for comment.

The firm is now required to file monthly reports “demonstrating that all applicable taxes have been paid on a timely basis.”

Tax records show that a $2.4 million lien was filed against HR Comp earlier this year.

Knight said the taxes would be paid. “We are working on it,” he said

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