Hefty fine looming for Chesterfield couple in generator case

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico judge wants a written guarantee a contractor will be paid for making repairs for a Chesterfield couple accused shoddy generator installation work. If that doesn't happen, that couple will be slapped with a big fine.

A $14,000 fine is looming over Stephen and Angela Mills. A thousand bucks for each of the 14 code violations they face. There's a Monday deadline to guarantee payment to a contractor. A contractor who's at his wit's end.

Larry Bryant with Commonwealth Duct and Mold said he's yet to see a dime from the Mills for repair work in Henrico.

"We could care less about letters. We want to see money, so we can get these customers done. (You guys don't work for free.) No. We do not and we're not going to," said Bryant.

The Mills are accused of faulty generator, heat pump, and heating and cooling installations in both Henrico and Chesterfield.

Todd Hubbard said some installations were just bad, others involved incorrect parts.

"Like this for instance. This is a regulator. It's way too small. It's not even meant for a generator. It's meant for a gas grill," said Hubbard.

What's inside a trailer outside Commonwealth Duct and Mold gives an idea of just how much work they've had to do. We opened it up and took a look inside. Bryant said it's full of unusable parts and this is just from one week.

The Mills originally faced 25 building code violations in Henrico. 11 were dropped May 4th. 14 remain outstanding. A judge wants assurance by close of business Monday the contractor will be paid.

Assistant County Attorney Ben Thorp just wants the work done on seven remaining properties. The Mills, who once ran Virginia Air Mechanical, can't do it because they're not licensed.

"More than getting fines levied on the Mills, what we really want to get done is homeowners who've had faulty work done; get that corrected," said Thorp.

Bryant said his company is feeling the pinch.

"Naturally it's hurt our company. Being a small company it could shut us down if we don't get paid and it puts our customers on delay trying to get to these customers who are way behind," said Bryant.

If the judge gets his notification Monday, the next court date for the Mills would be June 1st.  On that day, the code violations could be dropped, but only if the work is done and inspected.

The couple is also facing 34 building code violations in Chesterfield County, including one involving their own house. They're accused of building a screened-in porch first without a permit then without an inspection. A court date is set for May 29th.

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