New York State Fines Al Franken's Corporation $25,000 for Not Carrying Workers' Compensation

The state of New York fined the personal corporation of Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken $25,000 for not carrying workers' compensation insurance for almost three years.

The New York Workers' Compensation Board levied the fine against Alan Franken Inc. in August 2006 for failure to carry the insurance from June 2002 to March 2005.

Brian Keegan, a board spokesman, said a number of notices were sent to the address the New York agency had listed for Franken. But the television personality and political commentator didn't become aware of the fine until Tuesday, said his campaign spokesman, Andy Barr.

"If there's a mistake by the Frankens it was an inadvertent mistake as opposed to trying to evade the law," Barr said.

The fine was reported recently by Minnesota Democrats Exposed, a Web site sympathetic to incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, whom Franken is seeking to unseat in November.

The Franken team believes it may have been a clerical mistake on the part of the Workers' Compensation Board, but it's also possible the Frankens did not keep the insurance current, Barr said.

If the latter turns out to be true, he said, Franken will pay the fine.

Barr said Franken and his wife moved from New York to Minnesota around the time the fine was imposed. He said Franken established the corporation to receive payments for speeches, royalty checks from his TV and movie roles and other income.

The corporation typically had anywhere from no employees to one or two part- or full-time employees at any one time, Barr said.