HELENA (AP) – Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Wednesday that two construction liens filed against a home he is building are the result of a dispute between contractors and subcontractors and were being settled.
“I guess this is the way it goes when you build a house,” Schweitzer said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
News of the liens surfaced in a statement issued by the Montana Republican Party, which said it sought copies of the liens after being tipped off about them.
“We’re still gathering all the facts, but it sure looks like Brian Schweitzer has some explaining to do,” GOP Chairman Erik Iverson said in the release.
The two liens showed two subcontractors claim they are owed more than $20,000.
The governor said general contractor Tony Laslovich, father of state Sen. Jesse Laslovich, hired the subcontractors, and that the liens were the result of a price dispute and quality-of-work issues between Laslovich and the subcontractors.
Schweitzer said he stepped in and talked to both subcontractors and settled the issue.
“It’s a lot of to-do about nothing,” he said. “I have spoken to both of the subcontractors, and we’ve brought it to a resolution.”
Schweitzer is building a vacation home on 10 acres of property on Georgetown Lake near Anaconda.
Schweitzer has said he paid about $2 million for four lots in the Badger Bay development, being developed by Missoula industrialist Dennis Washington. The acquisition was part of a trade for land the governor owned near Whitefish.
The liens were filed earlier this month. The largest, for $16,390, was filed by Justin Mund Construction of Bozeman. The governor said $11,000 of that was previously paid and it was his understanding that a check for the rest was being sent.
The second lien was filed by Dave Lowery of Deer Lodge for $5,410. Schweitzer said he believed a check for that amount was sent this week.
Calls left at all three construction companies were not returned Wednesday.
Wednesday evening, the governor’s office provided a document it said was a lien release from Justin Mund Construction, along with a short letter dated Nov. 28.
The letter, signed by Mund, said: “I acknowledge that this misunderstanding arose out of a mistake in the initial quote that I provided for the work, and that the filing of the construction lien was in error.”
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