Hobart contractor accused of taking money, not finishing work
By Lori Caldwell firstname.lastname@example.org October 12, 2012 5:24PM
Carpenters Riste Grezovski and Ben Doege of Imboden Construction secure tarps to the roof areas of Phil Anderson's Hobart home Friday afternoon in anticipation of rain this weekend. Imoboden Construction was subcontracted by Alligator Construction to complete a dormer addition for a nursery and hasn't completed the work. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 13, 2012 8:49PM
HOBART — Amy Kazen and Phil Anderson want to bring their newborn home to a nursery decorated with forest creatures and nature scenes.
They shared their dream with David Ferner of Alligator Construction, who estimated adding two bedrooms and a bathroom to their upstairs would cost $23,000.
On July 17, they paid Ferner half the price and waited for work to begin.
Then waited some more.
“He has not done nothing but lie this entire time,” Kazen said after filing a fraud report with the Hobart Police Department against Ferner on Monday, accusing the contractor of taking her cash and failing to deliver on his promise. The complaint is under investigation.
Ferner, who recently moved his business from a downtown location to a site several blocks east, said he’s backlogged on projects.
“People don’t complain about our work, just that we don’t get to them fast enough,” he said. “We’ve scaled down our business. Start depending on myself more.”
Earlier this year, he and his wife filed personal bankruptcy organization seeking protection from creditors, including several local suppliers. It’s the fourth time in two years they have filed bankruptcy.
The three previous attempts were dismissed when the couple failed to meet requirements of the bankruptcy court trustee, such as providing tax returns and making payments.
Building official Mike Hannigan said he has heard other complaints about Ferner’s chronic delays. But his department has no written complaints about the work, Hannigan said, and Ferner’s business license is in good standing.
“Taking someone’s money and not doing the work is a criminal matter, it’s not a building matter,” Hannigan said.
A subcontractor for Alligator recently began framing out the upstairs at the Kazen-Anderson home, but the couple had to pay the workers directly,
Ferner said he agreed to refund the couple their deposit minus demolition work he performed and materials he bought, but he couldn’t do that until he received money from another project.
That hasn’t happened yet.
Kazen says the whole matter has created undue stress for her and her baby, due in March. She hopes her experience will alert others to potential problems.
“If I am to fall in the victim category, there’s no reason for anyone else to,” she said.
Contributing: Staff writer Teresa Auch Schultz