Worst Seattle Contractors of 2010
Home Curb Appeal | Covington, Wash.
John Mulinski, owner of Covington-based Home Curb Appeal, faces up to 10 years in prison following his September arrest on 15 counts of felony theft. King County Sheriff investigators say Mulinski bilked homeowners, subcontractors and a business owner out of more than $1 million. No trial date has been set.
According to court records, Mulinski allegedly contracted with homeowners — and a restaurant owner in 2010 — for large-scale remodeling projects in Woodinville, Chelan and Bellevue that he didn’t complete, and he failed to pay subcontractors.
In June, deputies arrested Mulinski on three misdemeanor counts of unlicensed contracting. Two months prior, Mulinski admitted to violating consumer protection laws and agreed to pay consumers restitution and more than $12,000 in penalties.
“The guy is absolutely a thief,” says subcontractor Chris McIlrath, owner of AA Plumbing in Everett, Wash.
The state revoked his contractor registration in 2009 following numerous civil complaints. “We take these cases very seriously,” says Dan Donohoe, press secretary for the King County prosecutor’s office.
Mulinski, who’s released on bond, also faces 13 misdemeanor charges in California. His phone numbers are disconnected and his defense attorney could not be reached.
Dwellcraft | Seattle
The state suspended Dwellcraft owner Mark Darbous’ contractor’s license in March following a steady stream of civil complaints against the home remodeling company.
Angie’s List Seattle members Kevin and Francesca Gemeroy, who filed a report on the company, say they hired Dwellcraft for a $83,000 home remodeling project, and paid Darbous about half of that before he walked off the job, leaving their home exposed to the elements. This followed several failed building inspections, the Gemeroys say, and missing payments to subcontractors.
Kevin Gemeroy, whose civil suit against Dwellcraft is pending, says he and his wife have spent an additional $53,000 to finish the work, $10,000 to release liens from subcontractors and at least $20,000 in legal fees. “We’ve also found defects in the work, which would likely take thousands more to correct,” Kevin says.
Darbous couldn’t be reached. His attorneys didn’t return messages.
Community Paving | Washington, Northern California
For more than two years, George Stanley traveled throughout Washington and California duping customers into paying for poor-quality paving services, according to state authorities.
In November, Stanley pleaded not guilty to five felony counts of grand theft and one misdemeanor count of contracting without a license in California. His next court appearance was set for Dec. 9.
Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries suspended Stanley’s contractor registration in 2008. Angie’s List Magazine included Stanley on its list of 2009 Worst Seattle Contractors. A notice alerts members to his felony arrest.
He also has convictions in two other California counties for felony elder abuse and grand theft, and unlicensed contracting. He received six months jail time and an order to pay restitution. He’s on probation until he starts his jail sentence Jan. 14. A civil case to liquidate his equipment is pending.
Kathy Frasier of Lakewood says her father paid Stanley more than $45,000 to repair potholes, but the work and materials were shoddy.
Stanley and his attorney did not return calls.
— by Joshua Palmer and Staci Giordullo