Questions mount over former councilman's downtown Baton Rouge bars
BATON ROUGE - A woman working at Huey's Bar, owned by former Baton Rouge Metro Councilman John Delgado claims she has been left saddled with debt after she was injured on the job.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit found Delgado does not have workman's comp insurance on the two bars that he owns, even though it is mandated by the state.
In January, Victoria Bergeron said she was hired by Delgado to work as a bartender at Huey's. Immediately, she said she realized things weren't right as the bar was run in a non-traditional fashion.
"I never received a paycheck or a check stub or anything like that," Bergeron said. "It was 100-percent tips that I got that night."
Bergeron said she repeatedly asked the bar managers about check stubs and taxes. Instead, she claims she was never given an answer.
Then, in March of this year, Bergeron said she refused service to a bar patron who was with a group of other women.
"One thing led to another and she and her friend cracked two glasses over my head," Bergeron recalled." She ended up taking a wooden straw caddy about seven to eight pounds and crashed it into my eye."
The injuries sent Bergeron to seek medical treatment where she received over $5,000 in medical bills.
"It ended up giving me a severe concussion, a black eye and a hairline fracture in my cheek," Bergeron said.
Since Bergeron was on the clock during her injuries, the state mandates that businesses carry workman's comp insurance, even if the business has one employee. According to databases kept by the state, Delgado had no insurance the night of Bergeron's injury in March and still doesn't have it today.
Delgado told WBRZ this is a legal matter and he's working to resolve the issue. He said he had no further comments.
The problems about the lack of workman's comp insurance come after the Baton Rouge Business Report broke a story about Delgado's other business, 1913. That business did not have an occupational license but had a license to serve alcohol. This year, the publication also revealed Delgado owed back taxes on his businesses. The amount will likely be revealed at a meeting this week.
As the problems continue for Delgado, Bergeron said she's heard nothing from him.
"I'm still waiting, no phone calls, no return texts, nothing," Bergeron said.
As Bergeron waits to pay her bills, the debt collectors are already after her.
"I hope justice happens truthfully," Bergeron said. "Right is right and wrong is wrong. Accountability has to come forth at some point in life."
Late Tuesday before a WBRZ newscast featured a television report on the situation, Delgado sent an email to Bergeron saying he received her medical bills. He said he intends to pay for it but didn't explain why it's taken him five months to do so.