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Troubleshooters: Two customers ask for help with contractor

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Posted at 3:05 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 18:52:22-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two men hired the same contractor. They've already paid him some money, but the job isn't complete, and now they can't find him.

The men tell the Troubleshooters, had they known then what they know now about this particular contractor, they wouldn't be in this situation.

James Wiggins says he hired Robert Emery of Emery Designed Woodworks and Custom Cabinets in October 2020.

"He posted an ad under Skilled Services on Craigslist. And frankly, did a pretty good sales pitch."

Wiggins says detailed drawings and a proposal presented to him by Emery convinced him he was legit.

So, Wiggins hired him in October 2020 to build some custom cabinets and remodel the master bathroom in his house.

"He didn't even tile it properly. See these lines don't even match up. I'm gonna have to basically demo it out and do it myself," said Wiggins.

He further told the Troubleshooters, he and Emery agreed to a contract in October, but the work never got done.

"He's supposed to come back and pull all this stuff up and grout it after he finished taping and floating."

Wiggins estimates he paid Robert Emery $5,700, but says there has been no communication since a text message months ago.

Wiggins says once he started doing his homework on Emery, he found out he's been in prison, twice.

The Troubleshooters made repeated calls to phone numbers provided to us by Wiggins for Robert Emery.
He has not returned our calls.

We've knocked on doors at various addresses we were given for him. Nothing.

Sound familiar?

Walter Russell also hired Robert Emery. Russell told the Troubleshooters he found Emery on a Craigslist ad and wound up hiring him in August 2018 to remodel his entire home.

Emery told him the work would be done in four months.

Russell says the only work Emery ever did at his house was a bit of framing, and that he was paid $5,000 up front.

Russell accepts he'll likely never see the money he paid Emery again.

He's now doing most of the work renovating his Flour Bluff home himself.