Reality TV Star’s Workers’ Comp Benefits Get Axed

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries has frozen the pension benefits of reality TV star James Frank Smith. According to L&I, Smith, who stars on the History Channel show “Ax Men” with his son, has been charged with 17 counts of theft. He is accused of drawing a disability pension while also working as a logger for his own business, S&S Aqua Logging.

Smith, a Roslyn, Wash., resident, received workers’ compensation benefits for two significant workplace injuries occurring in 1993 and 1996, L&I said. Due to his serious injuries, and after years of treatment aimed at returning him to employment, he was found to be unable to return to work in December 2007 and placed on pension.

L&I authorities froze his pension benefit and launched an investigation after seeing Smith on the show performing work he claimed he was not capable of doing. He is scheduled to be arraigned in a Thurston County court on February 15.

Smith first appeared in season two of “Ax Men,” salvaging logs from coastal Washington rivers.

Source: L&I