Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced that investigators from the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) recently executed warrants on six contractors for failing to comply with final orders of the Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board (CRLB) to pay restitution totaling $76,582 and fines of $74,500.
The CRLB is the administrative agency through which complaints involving homeowners and contractors are heard and resolved. The Attorney General’s Office serves as the legal advisor to the CRLB and takes an active role in the prosecution of contractors before the Courts, resulting in the collection and disbursement of monies to homeowners if and when a contractor ignores a final order from the CRLB.
The CRLB’s objective is to safeguard consumer rights related to contracted property improvements while providing a fair and positive environment for the construction industry. The board promotes protection to public health and safety through the registration of residential and commercial contractors and provides technical assistance to registered contractors relating to standards of construction established to ensure a positive working environment for the industry. It also provides a disciplinary process and a forum to resolve disputes from homeowners, as well as from other contractors.
Under Rhode Island General Law §5-65-19, a person violating a final order of the board or who acts as a contractor without a valid certificate of registration may be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. The Office of Attorney General’s Criminal Division handles prosecutions in Rhode Island District Court for violations of the board’s final orders.
“A person’s home is often their greatest and most important investment. Homeowners put their trust and hard-earned money into the hands of contractors. They expect to be treated fairly and for the work to be completed safely and legally. It can be devastating to the homeowner when a contractor does shoddy work, or worse, takes the money but does not perform the work,” said Attorney General Kilmartin.
“The vast majority of contractors are honest and hard-working. It is rogue individuals who give the industry a bad name. Dishonest contractors ignore their legal and moral responsibilities, leaving the homeowner on the hook. We will not tolerate contractors who flout their responsibilities to the homeowner and to the State of Rhode Island. The Office of Attorney General, in partnership with the CRLB, will continue to go after contractors who show little integrity and respect toward their work and their customers and who continue to disregard the findings of the CRLB.”
Since January, 2011, the Office of Attorney General has pursued charges against 40 contractors seeking court-ordered restitution of $471,301.08. Special Assistant Attorney General Christy Hetherington serves as the legal counsel to the CRLB. The sweep was led by BCI Chief William Devine and BCI investigators in cooperation with local law enforcement.
The contractors, who are the subject of CRLB orders directing the payment of either or both restitution to homeowners and fines to the CRLB, were arraigned at Kent and Providence County District Courts.
The following contractors were arrested or surrendered recently as part of the effort:
Gary Bouffard, DOB: 7/18/64 d.b.a. G & L Painting 80 Bracken Street, Cranston, RI CRLB Reg.#: 18739 The CRLB ordered Bouffard to pay $610 to a resident in Cranston and a $500 fine to the CRLB. He was arrested on August 17, 2011 and arraigned in Kent County District Court. Bail was set at $1,000 with surety. A pre-trial date for the CRLB charge is scheduled for September 1, 2011.
Brian Dale, DOB: 12/31/70 d.b.a. Dale Construction Co., LLC 28 Wood Street, Warwick, RI CRLB Reg.#: 13097 The CRLB ordered Dale to pay $4,025 to a Cranston homeowner and up to a $17,500 fine to the CRLB. Dale surrendered on August 18, 2011 and was released on $5,000 personal recognizance. The next court appearance is scheduled for August 29, 2011.
Steve Izzi, DOB: 3/8/52 d.b.a. Sunshine Home Improvement 38 Calvacade Blvd. Johnston, RI CRLB Reg.#: 10675 The CRLB ordered Izzi to pay $4,000 to a Connecticut resident for a Rhode Island property and a $2,500 fine to the CRLB. Izzi was arrested on August 17, 2011 and arraigned in Kent County District Court. He was released on $1,000 surety bail. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for September 1, 2011.
Gary Morrell, DOB: 8/6/57 d.b.a. Loft Space Design 263 Lexington Ave. North Providence, RI CRLB Reg.#: 19951 The CRLB ordered Morrell to pay $19,000 to a Lincoln resident, $20,025 to a Cranston resident, $13,400 to another Cranston resident, $6,692 to a Providence resident and up to $45,000 in fines to the CRLB. Morrell surrendered on August 18, 2011 and arraigned in Providence County District Court. Bail was set at $6,000 with surety on CRLB charges. He was also was presented as a probation violator and ordered to pay $500 cash bail. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for September 2, 2011.
David Charbonneau, DOB: 6/18/70 d.b.a. Reliable Roofing, LLC 50 Camac Street Pawtucket, RI CRLB Reg.#: 30000 The CRLB ordered Charbonneau to pay $5,505 and $1,225 to two Warwick residents and a fine of $6,500. Charbonneau was arraigned in Kent County District Court and released on $1,500 personal recognizance. The next court appearance is scheduled for August 22, 2011.
William Gallagher, DOB: 9/19/67 d.b.a. Gallagher Painting 252 Marlborough Street, Apt. #4 East Greenwich, RI CRLB Reg. #: 203000 The CRLB ordered Gallagher to pay $875 to a Johnston resident and a fine of $2,500 on May 26, 2011. Charges were dismissed upon agreeable payment arrangement to victim.