COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs family is out at least $7,000 after a local contractor scammed them out of a faulty patio cover built for their disabled son.
"It's devastating," said April O'Neil. "You put trust in people they will actually get the job done."
O'Neil hired contractor Bill Trumbly back in 2017 to construct a patio cover for her son Jadyn, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and about to undergo brain surgery to help reduce his seizures.
"It was a complete nightmare," O'Neil said. "Our son was on a lot of medication. He couldn't function and couldn't get out of bed every day."
In an attempt to make their son's recovery more comfortable, the O'Neils hired Trumbly.
"Let's make it really nice back here, I thought, so he can enjoy being back here," O'Neil said.
It wasn't that easy.
The O'Neil's paid Trumbly $6,000, plus $1,500 for the patio roof, and he completed the work within four days. But the O'Neil's claim he never gave them a permit to prove the work is valid and up to code.
According to Trumbly, that was agreed upon in their contract which the O'Neils signed.
"After we paid him, we kept saying, 'Where's this permit?' My husband had to call regional to find out there was no permit pulled," O'Neil said.
Trumbly also didn't have a license with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.
Months went by and the O'Neils tried to get the work inspected, but it failed.
"It was devastating," O'Neil said as she pointed to the middle of the patio, where she was told it's likely to crash down over time.
Fast forward two years, and Trumbly still refuses to fix it.
Instead he sent a text message to the O'Neils saying, "All the work I do and have done is under a license, idiot. I'm not stupid."
So our team called Trumbly to get an explanation.
We asked, "In order to do legal work here in the Pikes Peak Region you have to be licensed with the PPRBD, are you aware of that?"
"I understand what the laws are," Trumbly said over the phone.
"So why aren't you licensed?" Stephanie asked.
"I can work under another company, can't I? Trumbly asked.
In theory, yes. But the company Trumbly claims to work for also isn't properly licensed.
So either way, the work done is illegal and not valid.
Trumbly admitted that about the work he did at the O'Neils.
"The work that I did there, in theory, was illegal," he said.
We asked, "You also promised you were going to pay [the O'Neils] this past Friday and you never showed up ... do you plan on doing that?"
"That's because I got busy," Trumbly said.
KRDO learned Trumbly plead guilty to theft in 2003 in Teller County. In 2018, the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department took him to court for working without a license. The court ruled with Regional Building and issued Trumbly a $1,000 fine. Shortly after, an El Paso County District Court judge filed a court order against Trumbly.
KRDO will continue to follow this story, refresh this page for updates.