SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A local pool contractor has pleaded guilty to operating without a contractor’s license. The clients involved aren’t so sure they got justice.
Chris Powers was the focus of a 10 On Your Side investigation earlier this year.
Lynn and Vicki Shull of Suffolk hired Powers to install a $50,000 pool, deck and hot tub more than a year after Powers’ license was terminated. They say the work stopped shortly after they made their down payment of $15,000.
The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) charged Powers with operating without a license, and Tuesday Powers pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge.
Judge Alfred Bates sentenced Powers to a year in jail, suspending all but two weeks. Powers will serve the time on seven weekends beginning in May.
“I don’t know if that’s a deterrent,” Lynn Shull said.
10 On Your Side asked Powers several questions about the case as he left the Suffolk courthouse in March, but he declined to comment.
We know of at least six former customers of Powers who say they paid him to install pools but the work was never completed. Some reached out of court settlements.
“The main goal for us is we don’t want it to happen to anybody else,” Vicki Shull said.
Powers is facing the same charge of operating without a license in Chesapeake, and is set for trial next month.
In that case, the customer paid him about $14,000 for excavation and materials, but says the work stopped shortly afterward.
You can check the DPOR website to see whether a contractor has a Virginia license. The agency advises that even if you find a contractor listed on the website as licensed, you should call DPOR at (804) 367-8500 to be sure.