Customers say contractor took money but didn't finish projects
Posted March 9, 2009
Raleigh, N.C. — A contractor previously investigated by 5 on Your Side has run into more legal trouble and garnered more complaints from customers who say he took their money but didn't do the projects.
A dirty, dusty hole in Debbie Dunkley's basement was supposed to be a finished workroom.
"It was the most expensive hole I've ever paid for. It cost me $3,900," Dunkley said.
To do the job, she had hired Rick Stacy, owner of Customized Contractors, previously named RPS Contracting and RPS Builders.
"There were blatant lies and just not turning up, and I've heard every story known to man," Dunkley said.
Dunkley said that Stacy told her he couldn't work because his mother was sick, his daughter was sick, a worker's relative died – and then he was in jail.
"His mother called me the first time he went to jail and asked me if I would lend him $3,500 because they couldn't quite find the rest of his bail money. And she would have to pawn an extremely expensive watch valued at $12,000," Dunkley said.
Dunkley called 5 on Your Side after seeing its January story involving Stacy and another customer, Nancy Welsh.
"He has an excuse list longer than the (Great Wall of) China. It goes on forever. (Excuses) just flow like water," Welsh said.
Welsh paid Stacy $9,000 on a $12,000 job to build an addition. He never finished it. At one point, rain poured into the existing home because of how he left the project. Another homeowner who paid $5,500 said that Stacy tore the siding off his house and left.
So far, 5 on Your Side has heard from 11 people who say that Stacy took a combined total of more than $83,000 from them but never the finished his work.
In January, Stacy told 5 on Your Side that he "underbid" for jobs and couldn't complete them for what he charged.
Stacy has a long court record showing arrests in both Johnston and Wake counties. He has faced multiple charges of forgery and writing bad checks, as well as taking money without doing work.
At a recent arraignment on drug charges, Wake County Assistant District Attorney David Sherlin told the judge that he is also looking into cases involving Stacy's contracting work.
"(He) would go to one job and get a check and do some or none of the work, then got to another job, get a check, do some or none of the work – that process just kept going and going," Sherlin said.
After the arraignment, Stacy's attorney Robert Hedrick said he had "no comment."
While the case goes through court, Stacy is free on a $106,000 bond. In his Johnston County cases, he was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay $10,000 each to two companies to which he wrote bad checks.
As for Stacy's other customers, they say they want their money back, although they doubt they'll see a penny.