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Records Uncovered On Roofing Contractor

9:06 PM, Nov 24, 2010   |    comments
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Homeowner David Montgomery says paint job was never finished

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - Earlier this month, we told you how 82 year old Alice Bloomquist didn't get the roof she paid for. Tonight--- we have new information about the men who took her money but didn't finish the job. 

After the story aired, a second viewer had the same complaint about the contractor and his son. 13 On Your Side started looking into it. 

After digging through court records, we found three others with the same story-- Fouse Sr. signed the contract, his son started the job, but the work was not completed. 

72-year old David Montgomery is fired up, "He got a thousand dollars of my money, wouldn't you be mad."

Montgomery contacted the WZZM 13 Information Center after our first report on an unfinished roofing job. 

"When I seen you guys on there I said all right, that's when I called."  Montgomery says he also has a contract with James Fouse and an incomplete paint job to show for it. 

"Look that house ain't done yet, no."  Montgomery first saw Fouse's ad, called, signed a contract with Fouse, and made out a check for half down. 

"That's his signature on that cashing it."

But when the work didn't start right away, Montgomery grew suspicious and filed a police report. Fouse's son, James Fouse Junior showed up. 

"The next day Jimmy was out here scrapping the house, I said oh good, Jimmy started scrapping, and then I came, and Jimmy wasn't here."

Montgomery's story sounds like other cases we uncovered. In court records dating back to 2004 we found civil suits claiming Fouse Junior started the work and the Fouse's disappeared without a word. 

We went looking for the Fouse's but the addresses listed on the court documents and on his contracts turned up nothing.

Finally we got ahold of Fouse Jr. on the phone. He says he doesn't know Montgomery and has never been to court.  

13 On Your Side's Sarah Barwacz asked, "Why is it people are saying your father and you are working together and not completing the job? James Fouse Jr. responded, 'That would be my father.' Sarah Barwacz: "But you're saying you work with your father?" James Fouse Jr.: 'I don't really work with him, I do paint jobs, I go and do it."

But our investigation found it's not just paint jobs. As we reported earlier this month-- Alice Bloomquist signed a contract to get her roof and porch repaired. Like Montgomery-- The work was started but not finished.

Alice Bloomquist says, "He was gonna give me a good deal because I was an elderly person, but it wasn't a good deal when you're not going to complete the job."

To discuss these complaints Fouse Junior agreed to an interview, but after nearly an hour of waiting, Fouse Jr. never showed, leaving not just us, but also Montgomery still waiting. 

Recently we contacted the state, there is no contractor license for James Fouse. Grand Rapids Police are urging others with the same complaints to file a police report. The police can't open an investigation if you go straight to civil court.

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