INVESTIGATORS: Convicted felons employed at Plumbing Rescue

10:28 AM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- More customers are calling the 10 News Investigators saying they are being taken advantage of by Plumbing Rescue.

The company was recently caught on cell phone video installing pipes that run out of Dorothy Haley's garage to unclog her laundry sink and washer.

Haley said, "I seen the ad in the paper they would do things cheaper."

But instead of being a cheap job, Plumbing Rescue charged the senior citizen almost $6,000. Dorothy Haley's daughter, Vicki Haley, said the company told her mother they were giving her a special deal.

She said, "They gave her a senior discount too."

Dave Craft is the man who sold the job. He recently told a 10 News producer her garbage disposal was shot and tried to sell her a new one, when all that was wrong was a flipped breaker.

At the time, we asked Craft what the public should think about Plumbing Rescue. He told us, "We're a great company. We do the best to service people."

But several people who said they were overcharged thousands of dollars for what other plumbers say should be simple repairs disagree.

Dave Craft, who stands behind Plumbing Repair, is a convicted felon who served time as a drug dealer in Florida and Texas. He's not the only one who had trouble with the law; Daniel Rodriguez, who just left the company within the past six months, is also a felon with multiple convictions.

Investigators: Plumbing Rescue cited and fined

We called Plumbing Rescue owner Jim Myers to ask some questions about the felons that have worked for him now and in the past. However, Myers hung up when we asked, and when we tried to track him down at his home and his offices, he wasn't there or wouldn't answer.

We aren't the only ones looking for the owner of Plumbing Rescue. Hillsborough County wants to talk to Myers about the work on Dorothy Haley's home, because as Hillsborough Building and Construction head Wayne Francis explains, "They all require permitting."

When we asked what the company did about permitting, Francis said, "They did not pull permits."

After we alerted the county supervisor, Francis issued citations and fines totaling $1,000.

Before Myers hung up on us, he said he didn't know he had to pull permits. However, Francis said, "If he is a contractor, he is aware of the permitting requirements via statute and his license."

In addition, the health department is investigating and expected to issue citations and fines. The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office has also started a criminal investigation of the company and the Division of Insurance Fraud has several victims, many senior citizens, who say they were taken advantage of by Plumbing Rescue.

We asked Dorothy Haley if she felt taken advantage of and she told us, "Yeah, I really do."

We showed a tape of the work Plumbing Rescue did at the Haley home to other plumbers and they told us in the worst case scenario the most they would have charged to unclog the laundry sink would have been $1,300. That's not the close to the $6,000 that Plumbing Rescue charged.

However, the man who did the job, Dave Craft, said he didn't overcharge and did a fair job that he is proud of.

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