The Chesterfield couple accused of shoddy generator installations could soon have to pay more than $33,000 in fines. At a hearing Tuesday, a county judge gave Stephen and Angela Mills more time to make repairs and said if they don't, they're facing jail time.
The Mills worked hard to duck our cameras and dodge our questions after Tuesday's hearing. For the first time, we heard briefly from the couple under fire for putting so many lives in danger.
"Everything gets twisted," Angela maintained. "Everything we say gets twisted."
Stephen and Angela, the owners of the former Virginia Air Mechanical and Superior Mechanical, walked out of the Chesterfield courthouse after a judge accepted an agreement. In theory, it means repairs are imminent for the 33 homes with faulty generator installations.
Mills told us Commonwealth Duct and Mold is going to do the repairs.
The deal with the new contractor says Mills will give the company $2,000 and two vehicles estimated to be worth about $10,000 in exchange for making the repairs. An attorney told the court the Mills have no more money. They wouldn't give any more details on their finances on the way out of court.
For the original charges of failing to obtain a permit, the judge imposed a fine of $1,000 for each. That adds to a grand total of at least $33,000 the Mills would owe.
He suspended that sentence until October, however, to see how the Mills proceed. He also told them very sternly, if the repairs are not made, he will consider them in contempt of court. In this case, contempt means jail. Victims, who crowded the courtroom, were not optimistic.
"Thirty-three cases, they've done not one since January," said Larry Palmer Sr., whose son is on the repair list. "So that's disappointing. He lives in Chesterfield, ya know, he's done no work for the people who he lives around!"
There are 32 additional charges relating to those accusations. They come with fines up to $2,500 each.
"Of course we feel bad," was all Mills would say in terms of remorse.
The new contractors estimate there is $30,000 worth of work to be done and say they'll be taking a loss for entering into this deal.
The judge continued a hearing on the 32 additional charges because Mills' other attorney was not there.
The couple is also facing similar charges in Henrico County. In court Tuesday, attorneys said all that repair work has been completed.
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