Tonight’s Troubleshooters story is about another family still trying to recover from Hurricane Harvey damage.
But their beef isn’t with FEMA or TWIA.
It’s about the contractor they hired.
It seems like a select few people are the subject of more than one Troubleshooters report.
And this one has made the list.
"So you hired Ronnie Vela in December to repair damages to your fence and your storage shed, damages caused by Hurricane Harvey. Yes sir. Paid him a little over $11,000.00 in December. Yes sir."
So what’s the problem, we asked Michael Valerio ?
"None of these 2×4’s are pressure-treated the way they’re supposed to."
Valerio points out a problem with the gate.
"I’ve told him twice, it was sagging. And it’s sagging again. Oh yeah."
Due to time constrain’ts…we move to the shed.
"You can step in some places and almost go thru the floor," Valerio pointed out.
Valerio also points out Vela didn’t use brackets, which he claims are required by TWIA.
Nor did he pull the required permits.
So why did he hire vela ?
"Well we didn’t know about Ronnie Vela. When he came he said "I’m a good Christian. And you can trust me," Valerio recalled.
The Valerio’s trusted Vela so much, they admit they were out of town when most of the work was done.
And what’s done is done.
And they don’t like it.
They want their money back.
"Do you want him coming back here to finish the job ? Not really ’cause anytime he comes here, he’s disrespectful to my wife. He’s abusive verbally. As a matter of fact, one time on the phone he just called me an sob."
On May 1st, the Valerio’s sent Vela a demand letter, which read in part, ‘We no longer have faith or trust in your word, and as such we no longer want you on our property.’
And further, the contract had to be fulfilled by tomorrow, May 31st.
They even tried to file theft charges against him with Ingleside Police.
"So PD told you this is not theft. That’s what she said. It’s a he said she said. It’s a civil case."
For his part, Vela, who claims he’s been a contractor more than 30 years, says that even tho he did not pull permits, his work is still up to code.
"Let me get on the property and I will definitely, I promise you, and I’ll go pull the permits," he told the Troubleshooters.
He further claims it’s the Valerio’s fault the job’s not being done to their satisfaction.
"I could not finish doing the job because they were always complaining and always complaining. They kept changing their minds and changing their minds. And they just kept on and on and on."
And about that $11,600.00 the Valerio’s want back…
Well, good luck with that.
"And they’re not gonna get a penny out of my pocket because I aint got pennies."
As always, if you need the help of the Troubleshooters, go to our website kztv10-dot-com or call us at 885-0100.