Skip to comments.Woman Admits To Trashing Home Over Money Owed By Contractor
Posted on 12/09/2007 2:30:04 PM PST by Daffynition
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- It was a $1,500 paint job that turned into a mess for the homeowner. Detectives said a subcontractor admitted to making the mess, because she hadn't been paid. Now, investigators say she could face felony charges for her act.
Detectives said the subcontractor claimed her general contractor wasn't paying her. The homeowner had paid $1,500 to have her home in the Conway Pointe subdivision painted. All of it was done for $800 and that's what the contractor owed the painter. The painter told police she was so upset over the money, she decided to paint the house again
"It's an awful thing, an awful thing," said victim Kittsie Simmons.
Simmons and her 77-year-old mother, Janet Gauthier, were supposed to move into their new home off Semoran Boulevard on Friday. When they walked inside, the place had been destroyed.
"I want to cry. This was supposed to be a new beginning for us," Simmons said.
Simmons paid contractor Pete Spaziano nearly $2,000 as a down payment to paint the house and replace the carpet with tile. Spaziano hired a subcontractor to do the painting. Eyewitness News talked to Spaziano by phone and he said he'd planned to pay the subcontractor when the painting was complete.
"She was very upset with Pete because she couldn't get a hold of him," Simmons said.
In fact, police said the painter told them she was so upset she trashed the house. Not one room was spared; the living room, dining room, bedrooms and bathrooms were all splattered with paint.
"I'm sick about it. I didn't think there was a human being that could something like this," Janet Gauthier said.
Gauthier and her daughter planned to spend Christmas in the home. Now they'll spend the holidays cleaning up and trying to recover some of the money they paid for a makeover that turned into a mess. They said they're furious at the painter, but they're also upset with Spaziano.
"He is probably so stressed for money, I am never going to see anything from him," Simmons said.
Spaziano was in Tampa on Friday. Eyewitness News talked to him on the phone and he said he was sorry about the situation and would give the Simmons their money back.
As for the painter, police asked Eyewitness News not to release her name just yet. She told them she'd come down to the station with her attorney on Monday. If she doesn't, police can get a warrant for her arrest.
Spaziano owns Mid-Florida Contractors. There have been 20 complaints filed against him with the Better Business Bureau this year and records show Spaziano has been sued two dozen times in the last 10 years.
Now there's a motivation to do some diligence before you hire a home-improvement workman.
Am I judging without all the facts? possibly, but the preponderance of what was reported backs this assumption. Sorry for the home owners, but the Blame lies with Spaziano MOO
You better believe it! And how do you know exactly who the contractor sub-contracts to ... as time marches on, more and more it may very well be an illegal alien.
These unscrupulous contractors need to be shut down but unfortunately many unknowing homeowners will be duped before authorities step in.
Why didn’t the sub-contractor file a mechanics lien?
These people are sleazy and graft money in any way they can come up with, from hiring illegals, to not paying their labor, to using substandard materials, to failing to pay in employee withholdings. And government officials from local building boards to Congress just about have to be getting a piece of the pie for it to have become as rampant as it seems to be.
I believe that as big a problem as the illegals are - the problem that they have brought the Latin American business ethic here is just as bad. Or perhaps this is the default business ethic, and we are seeing the absence of Christ in business and government.
I would assume because they aren’t experienced in being in business for themselves, and don’t understand what recourses they have. Spazzo probably has the money to out wrangle them in court if their I’s aren’t dotted and their T’s aren’t perfect.
The sub contractor was working for the general contractor, not the homeowner. The sub should have waited to get paid, and never have trashed someone else's property. The sub now owes the woman a nice paint job.
Perhaps I’m missing something here. The homeowner pays person A to have the place painted, who contracts person B to do it, and then when person B doesn’t get paid she takes it out on the homeowner? She belongs in jail, IMHO. Maybe the prime as well but that’s an entirely different issue. If it were me I’d be the one in jail because I’d have strangled both of them.
put the house on ebay?
A sub contractor may file a lien against the homeowner.
It sucks for the home owner because they are paying the general contractor, thinking they are paying the sub contractors.
No. The contract was between the HO and the general. THe sub's contract was with the general.
"It sucks for the home owner because they are paying the general contractor...
they paid the general. The sub should have gotten ahold of the general. There was no problem there. THe sub woman's just a flake.
Well, in California this is the way it is. Sucks for the homeowner.
WHAT IS A MECHANIC’S LIEN?
This section describes a mechanics lien and the problems it can cause property owners.
A mechanic’s lien is a hold against your property that, if unpaid, allows a foreclosure action, forcing the sale of your home. It is recorded with the County Recorder’s office by the unpaid contractor, subcontractor or supplier.
Sometimes liens occur when the prime contractor has not paid subcontractors or suppliers. Legally, the homeowner is ultimately responsible for payment - even if they have already paid the prime contractor.
There are so many sleazy general contractors, and so many more who do not intend to be sleazy or do bad work, but get into a hole, trying to use the proceeds from one job to pay the subs from the last job. It’s a mess, despite all attempts to control and regulate this field.
I’m SO glad to have found a truly wonderful general contractor. They did spectacular work on my house—a major reconstruction—and I could not be happier. They really went above and beyond the call of duty. If anyone in Maryland needs a whole house built or renovations done, Jenke Contracting in Annapolis is fantastic.
Yes, I know what a mechanics lien is. Only the party in the contract can place one. The subcontractor is not a party in the contract between the general contractor and the homeowner. Since he’s not a party in that contract, he can’t place a lien. The subcontractor works for the general contractor. The general contractor pays him to do work for him. If the subcontractor doesn’t get payed, he must go after the general ocntractor. The homeowner owes the sub nothing, because the homeowner never made a contract with him. In this case the general already got payed.
You ARE fortunate! The really good contractors are always booked well in advance and it can be a long wait to get a job done.
Did you even read the California statement?
The home is ultimately responsible.
It’s the same in Missouri. You, the homeowner, are responsible if the contractor does not pay either the sub or for supplies UNLESS the sub and suppliers sign a form releasing the homeowner. I know from experience. Had a bogus lien filed on us, so I found the statutes. We had the lien taken off. It was a beeyotch though. He never filed a lawsuit to get a judgment (he knew it was bogus) but it tied up our title for a while. He had six months from filing the lien to file a suit and the lien becomes invalid. It still is on record as being filed and will screw up a re-fi or sale. Had we had the money, we’d have sued the pants off him for that.
A friend of ours in Texas hired a contractor to install new windows, a sunroom and some other things. She had been married to a man who controlled every aspect of their marriage so after their divorce (about 10 years ago)she wanted to show how much she could do without asking for help. She opened a Lowes credit card with a $12,000 limit and GAVE IT TO HIM to buy supplies. He rarely brought her back receipts. She eventually fired him after 11 weeks (was supposed to take 3) and he took every single item that was bought when he snuck off. Turns out he went to town on the buying. He bought over $3,000 worth of tools. $200 saw, three different pair of $40 gloves, a $20 pair and throw aways. He bought cases of gatorade and water. She kept wondering why they never finished the gatorade or water - she was finding half or 3/4 empty bottles in the trash. I told her that’s because SHE WAS PAYING FOR IT! He bought case upon case of caulk and foam spray and enough paint to paint two houses. We figure that he was taking the extra supplies to either do his own home or taking it back for store credit. The sunroom he added was done completely wrong and leaked all down the walls. He left a crack you could see out of between the wall and a fireplace. Taking out windows, he either cut the sheet rock too large or in a couple of cases just ripped the windows out, tearing the sheetrock. THis is not normally a stupid woman. She is very smart but not in this case. She is supposed to go to mediation (recommended by an attorney first) and then go to small claims court. I told her to talk to the local DA. That office (Round Rock TX) said it was not something they get into to that she’d have to file small claims. I told her that he should have been arrested for using the card buying what he was not supposed to. He had that card up to the $12,000 limit plus she let him charge on a regular C-card at various Home Depots he said he “HAD” to go to.
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