Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced the filing of nine court actions against unlawful contractors in Marion, Lane, Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties. The second sweep of filings in the last three months is part of a joint effort by the Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon Construction Contractors (CCB) and Landscape Contractors (LCB) Boards to battle fraudulent activities in these industries.
"As we continue to actively prosecute contractors who violate Oregon's laws, we're confident the number of consumer complaints will dramatically drop," Myers said. "Word gets around quickly in these two industries that both agencies are serious about stopping the violations."
Today's actions include the filing of three Assurances of Voluntary Compliance in Marion County Circuit Court and a motion for an Order of Default in Multnomah County. Named in the Assurances are Jerry Flowers of Lebanon and his business, BLD, Inc., Kevin Pedego of Charlotte, North Carolina, who did business in Oregon as Paradise Construction, and Garry Whalen of Keizer, who did business as A+ Construction. Pedego and Whalen did business without being licensed as contractors through CCB and were not bonded or insured.
Pedego, who has a lengthy history of CCB violations for advertising abuses and unlawfully hiring employees while not properly licensed, is permanently restrained from engaging in any business activity in Oregon. Whalen is no longer in the construction business.
Under his Assurance, Flowers must pay customer Rennert Hinderlie of Lebanon $25,000 in restitution for not providing a written estimate for his work as required by CCB rules and for overcharging Hinderlie for work performed. Flowers is married to Hinderlie's granddaughter. Flowers also will pay Justice $1,600 for attorney fees.
Flowers must, prior to doing any business, submit to customers written estimates that describe the work to be performed, the job's total cost and when payment for the job is expected. The respondent must provide a written receipt when paid for any work.
Today's motion for default was filed in Multnomah County against Portland construction contractor Manning R. Diehr, also known as Mann von Die Herrn, and his two businesses, Mann von Die Herrn, LLC and Diehr Enterprises, LLC. The defendants do business in Oregon as Fantastic Finish and Best Way Refinishing.
During the investigation, CCB investigators found that Diehr fraudulently advertised in the QwestDex yellow pages as Fantastic Finish, representing that he was licensed, insured and bonded when, in fact, he was not. Diehr also advertised in that same yellow pages edition under the name Best Way, using an expired CCB license number.
Diehr's operation was temporarily shut down in February when Justice obtained a restraining order and filed a lawsuit against the defendants. At a later hearing, Justice converted the restraining order into a preliminary injunction. Diehr failed to answer the allegations in the lawsuit and today, Justice filed a motion for an order of default.
In February and March, Justice filed lawsuits against the following unlicensed construction and landscape contractors:
Brian Patrick West of Portland, doing business as Westbuilt Construction.
Michael Scott Brophy of Hillsboro, doing business as Brophy Landscape & Maintenance.
Kelly Jean Valentine of Beaverton, doing business as Hardwood Floor Company.
Troy Bowen of Pacific City, doing business as Pride Construction and Pride Fencing.
Eric Young of Cottage Grove, doing business as Young Construction Company.
Consumers wanting licensure and complaint information about construction and landscape contractors in Oregon may contact the CCB at (503) 378-4610 or online at www.ccb.state.or.us. Brochures on choosing a contractor are available on the CCB web site or by calling the CCB automated publications line at (503) 378-4621, ext. 4974.
General information on construction and landscape contractors and their complaint history with Justice may be obtained by calling the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathleen Howlett, CCB, (503) 378-4621, ext. 4016