BY Nicole A. Elliott Staff writer

Former employees of the Children’s Corner, Inc. day care facility at 730 N. Jay St., which closed abruptly in February, will now receive wages that were still owed.

The day care’s Board of Directors and representatives of the state Attorney General’s Office are still looking into claims by several parents for reimbursement due to early payment of the weekly fee.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement that collection and payment will be made of nearly $12,500 in wages owed to 19 employees of the Children’s Corner. The facility shuttered its doors with no notice at the close of business Friday, Feb. 24, leaving parents struggling to find child care the following Monday and employees holding checks covering two pay periods that were worthless.

"This child day care center abruptly closed its doors leaving employees and parents out in the cold," Schneiderman said. "I am pleased that my office, in conjunction with the state Department of Labor, was able to quickly intervene and monitor the prompt sale of assets and collection of accounts receivable in order to secure sufficient funds to fully pay the wages owed to workers."

The attorney general’s investigation discovered that while there may not have been criminal wrong-doing in relation to the closing, inattentive management and poor planning appeared to be the cause of the shortfall that deprived workers of their hard-earned pay.

Former employee Karen Loucks, of Rome, one of the employees owed wages, said she was grateful for the state’s effort.

"I’m very glad for their help," she said. "The money was much needed."

Schneiderman acknowledged the cooperation of the not-for-profit corporation’s Board of Directors and its president, Johnny Davis, during the investigation, which continues to look into claims by several parents for reimbursement.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General in Charge Joel L. Marmelstein and Inv. Joseph T. Kelly of the Attorney General’s Utica Regional Office and Michael F. Burkard, chief Labor Standards investigator of the state Department of Labor.

Children’s Corner began in 1989 and had a capacity of 54 youngsters, ranging from infant to school-age. Tammy M. Wright was listed as the director of the center on the state Office of Children and Family Services website at the time of the closing.