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Spokane electrician faces $144,000 in fines for five citations

According to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, Toby Miller was installing car chargers without permits or safety inspections.
Credit: Washington Department of Labor and Industries
Washington Department of Labor and Industries

SPOKANE, Wash. — Toby Miller, a Spokane electrician, is facing $144,000 in fines for installing car chargers without permits or safety inspections.

According to a press release from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), the investigation began in September. As of now, L&I have issued five citations against Miller, who owns G E M Electric NW Inc. L&I reported that Miller “failed to obtain permits or schedule required inspections when installing 32 EV chargers in Spokane, Pullman and Liberty Lake.”

Wayne Molesworth, chief inspector for L&I’s Electrical Program, says that Miller actively ignored the requirements for installing car chargers.

“We’ve had contact with this electrical contractor before, so he knows what the requirements are; he’s just choosing not to follow them,” Molesworth said. “Obtaining a permit and requesting an inspection are two ways to ensure an installation meets the minimum requirements and is free of hazards that can get people hurt.”

According to the press release, this marks the third time Miller has been cited for this specific violation, putting his electrical contractor and administrator licenses at risk. Miller has appealed the citations to the state’s Electrical Board.

L&I also reported that Avista contracted with G E M and another company to install the EV chargers. The work took place between Aug. 2 and Sept. 29.

G E M Electric faces three citations: doing work without a permit; doing electrical work without a city permit; and failing to request an inspection.

The group responsible for uncovering Miller’s violations are known as the Electrical Compliance, Outreach, Regulation, and Education (ECORE) team. ECORE issued citations for more than 3,000 violations and collected over $2 million in penalties in 2021.

“Our electrical inspectors in the field play a key role in spotting contractors trying to skirt rules that are meant for the public’s safety,” Molesworth said. “Our intent is to help the many businesses that play by the rules by cracking down on the ones that don’t.”

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