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Disabled, 93-year-old veteran in dispute with contractor

Posted: 9:19 PM, Dec 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-18 23:39:50-05

The family of a disabled, 93-year-old Korean War veteran is in a dispute with a contractor over work not performed despite money paid.

“That’s stealing,” the veteran’s daughter Leticia Chavarria Pecina said. “For me that’s stealing.”

In late September, Ernesto Chavarria, Sr. hired Frank Jaramillo, Jr. to build a new concrete driveway and front walk at his Corpus Christi home. The Chavarrias said they paid Jaramillo $4,700, but the work is still not finished.

“It makes me so mad that someone can just come in here, and just take [my dad’s] money away that he worked for, for so many years,” Chavarria Pecina said.

In a phone conversation today, Jaramillo said the rainy weather in the fall is partly to blame for the incomplete job. He said he did some of the work including removing old brickwork and making the wooden frames to form the concrete. Jaramillo said he is willing to refund some of the money, but he’s having a hard time coming to terms with Chavarilla’s son Javier.

“He’s wanting all the $4,700 back, and that’s not going to happen,” Jaramillo said. “There’s no way, because there’s plenty of work that I did. There’s plenty of material that I bought, and there’s the man-hours we spent out there. So, if he wants to meet in the middle, I’d be more than glad to meet in the middle with him somewhere.”

It’s unclear if the two sides will be able to agree on a dollar amount for the refund. In the end, the case may end up in the legal system.

“My brother says he’s going to take [Jamarillo] to court,” Chavarria Pecina said.

In the meantime, she has a warning for anyone having work done around their home.

“Let them do the work, and then give the money to them, because you’re going to be just like us, trying to figure out how to finish the job,” Chavarria Pecina said.