The California attorney general’s office retracted an erroneous press release tying the owners of the Koi Restaurant chain to eight carwashes the state is suing for allegedly exploiting workers, unpaid wages and illegal business practices.
After being contacted by the Koi Group, Jerry Brown’s office pulled the release and issued a revised version without references to Koi. The second release does not mention why initial references to Koi, including a pointed quote from Brown, were made and subsequently removed.
The attorney general also issued a letter to Koi Restaurant acknowledging that neither Koi nor its owners have any involvement with the carwashes named in the state’s $6.6 million lawsuit, restaurant officials said. There are no allegations of worker exploitation against Koi Restaurant in the suit.
The complaint names Dipu Haque, also known as Dipu Haque Sikder, as an individual defendant in the carwash case. Some of the owners of Koi Restaurant also have the surname Sikder, which may have caused some confusion.
“The attorney general should have done a better job of investigating the true facts before saying what he did,” said an unidentified owner of Koi, in a company press release. “No one involved in the restaurant is involved in any manner in any of the carwashes that were sued. I would have hoped that the head legal officer of this state would not jump to conclusions on a basis of guilt by association.”
Koi Restaurant in Los Angeles has served patrons since 2002 and is consistently rated among the top dining destinations in the city.