Fast Company's Diana Budds uncovers the architect that Hillary Clinton alluded to during Monday's debate when she called out Donald Trump for having a terrible reputation as a client to architects, designers, and craftsmen.
The architect in question is New York-based Andrew Tesoro, whom Trump hired in 2002 to design a clubhouse for the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, N.Y. After the work was completed, the Trump Organization refused to pay what Tesoro billed and offered less than a third of the fee during a meeting at the club. The architect was forced to absorb the losses, which nearly bankrupted his small business and caused him to use savings that he says were intended for his son's college tuition to keep the firm from folding.
According to a Forbes interview with Tesoro, the disputed bill was $140,000; Trump paid $25,000. "I felt humiliated because here I was in the ballroom I had worked so hard to design and they basically ganged up on me," Tesoro said in the video. "I didn't feel like I had a lot of choice other than to accept their low-ball offer." According to Tesoro, Trump said, "I don't really think I should pay any more because I've already spent too much on that building." Then Trump's attorney told Tesoro that while the law was likely in his favor if the case went to court, the legal fees would bury him even deeper financially.