"Wall of Shame" for Contractors Pending Enactment in Suffolk

John Caravella Esq.
February 28, 2012 — 1,443 views  

Unscrupulous home improvement contractors may be identified for their transgressions, thanks to a new bill passed by the Suffolk County Legislature. In continuing efforts to assist homeowners searching for reputable home improvement contractors, the Suffolk County Legislature recently unanimously passed a bill which would have the Suffolk County Office of Consumer Affairs post an online directory, nicknamed the ‘Contractor Wall of Shame’.

The bill, proposed by outgoing Majority Leader Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor), is planned to be a tool homeowners will be able to use prior to selecting any home improvement contractor.

Home improvement contractors in Suffolk County can find themselves listed in this dubious ranking if they have either lost their license, been cited for operating without proper license(s), or have been convicted of fraud, larceny, or false advertising.

Information to be posted on contractors includes names, addresses, photographs, and any known aliases used by contractors. If this bill becomes law in Suffolk County, unlicensed or convicted contractors will be required to supply the Suffolk County Consumer Affairs Office with their names, addresses, and photographs. Those who fail to register can be subject to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

“The Department of Consumer Affairs is strongly in favor of Legislator Cooper’s ‘Wall of Shame’ bill,” Consumer Affairs Director Cliff Coleman wrote in a letter to the Legislature urging the resolution’s adoption. “Consumer Affairs has hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding penalties on uncollected violations and we believe passage of this law will really help solve this problem.”

It is now up to outgoing county Executive Steve Levy whether to sign this bill into law in his remaining days in office. The specific language and full details on proposed penalties included in the bill can be seen here.

John Caravella Esq.

The Law Offices of John Caravella, P.C.

Mr. Caravella, a construction attorney admitted to practice in all NY and FL state courts, represents architects, contractors, sub-contractors, engineers & owners in all phases of construction. He has education & working experience in architecture.