12 ON YOUR SIDE: Contractor avoids court appearance

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - 12 On Your Side continues to look into complaints against Mark Johnson - the contractor accused of accepting people's money and not showing up to do the work.

This time, Johnson did not show up in Henrico General District Court - but he's not in trouble for not appearing.

The former customer who filed a 'warrant in debt' went to court and learned from the judge the civil case was settled, because Johnson paid back the money before the court date, and that scratched Johnson from having to show up.

The customer believes the contractor knows how to work the system, and he says it's not fair.

"He held my money hostage for four months, which is unfair to anyone," said Douglass Cook. "3,000 some dollars."

Cook says he paid Clear Choice Windows contractor Mark Johnson last October for a patio door he never got and fought hard to get back every dollar. He never thought the refund check would circumvent the civil suit just because the contractor came up with $3,089.00 just in time for court.

"He knew the system well enough by sending me my money back, that he didn't have to appear. The way he did it, it's as though he knows how to handle this. It's a routine he's set up to continue on."

I reached out to Johnson again, and numerous times over the past weeks. Except for pictures we got our hands on, we haven't found him to look him in the eye.

Neither have Henrico Police, the B.B.B., the State Board of Contractors, or other unhappy customers.

Johnson remains unresponsive and unseen.

"He's a disgrace to the business industry. He needs to be dealt with, apprehended and license stripped."

The contractors board tells me it's investigation is active consisting of four complaints against Johnson. It reminds consumers though, they can't force a contractor to return money or fix the work. But it does have power over licenses and fines.

"We recognize sometimes that's cold comfort," said Mary Broz Vaughan for the Virginia Board of Contractors. "For some folks, that's a lot to at least say this won't happen to anyone else. For some folks, they still go, 'I'm still stuck.'"

The B.B.B. updated its review to include three closed complaints. It says, "all have been closed with no response and they are all considered serious in nature."

We will continue to reach out to Mark Johnson and update you as we learn more.

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