One of the owners of Papa G’s restaurant in Huntley, which was recently under federal investigation, has pleaded guilty to battering one of his juvenile employees.
Ricky Tsakalios, 36, of the 9000 block of Churchill Circle in Niles, was initially charged in June 2021 with two counts of battery, a Class A misdemeanor.
Charging documents alleged that Tsakalios knowingly caused harm to a 17-year-old juvenile by striking her left arm using an open hand on April 17, 2021.
Tsakalios also allegedly struck the juvenile on multiple areas, including her arms, legs and backside, using his hands and towels, according to court documents.
Prosecutors later filed two additional counts of battery against the man, alleging that he also struck the juvenile on April 8, 2021.
The Northwest Herald reported that the victim in the case was a hostess of Papa G’s restaurant in Huntley. The girl no longer works at the restaurant.
Tsakalios is a co-owner of the restaurant.
Court records show Tsakalios recently entered into a negotiated plea deal with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.
He pleaded guilty to one count of battery making physical contact, a Class A misdemeanor, in exchange for his other charges being dismissed.
McHenry County Judge Mark Gerhardt on Monday approved the plea deal and sentenced Tsakalios to six months of supervision and an online anger management course.
Tsakalios will also be required to pay $939 in court fines and fees.
The conviction against Tsakalios is deferred, meaning if he completes his supervision satisfactorily the conviction will not be entered on his record.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently concluded an investigation into Ricky Tsakalios and Steve Tsakalios, the owners of Papa G’s,
The United States Department of Labor said in May that Papa G’s violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938.
The investigation reviewed the restaurant’s employment and pay practices, a civil complaint said.
Federal officials said the Tsakalios repeatedly failed to pay their employees one and a half times their regular wages for working more than 40 hours per week.
The owners also allegedly failed to maintain accurate records of their employees’ work hours for the majority of the investigation period and even omitted some employees from time records, the complaint said.
The Tsakalios knew they were required to pay their employees at one and a half times their regular wages for hours worked overtime because they paid for overtime hours in cash at their regular rates separate from check payments for non-overtime hours worked, the labor department alleged.
The labor department also said the Tsakalios intimidated and retaliated against their employees during the investigation.
United States District Judge Philip Reinhard issued a preliminary injunction in June ordering the Tsakalios to not retaliate or discriminate against any current or former employee, including discussing communications any employee had with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Rinehard also ordered the owners to not withhold wages, terminate or threaten to terminate their employees if the Tsakalios believe they have been cooperating with the labor department.
The defendants must not communicate with their employees to investigate the plaintiff’s claims, prepare a defense, gather evidence or execute declarations without first informing the employee that their communication is voluntary and they cannot be retaliated against, the injunction said.