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March 18, 2003

DA Dillon Announces Arrest of Unlicensed Contractor

Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon today announced the arrest of an unlicensed home improvement contractor who has been the subject of several complaints.

Frank Micalizzi, 50, doing business as Messina Construction, 2651 Woods Avenue, Oceanside, is charged with two counts of Operating a Home Improvement Business Without a License, a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

According to Dillon, "The defendant was the subject of complaints, referred to us by the Nassau County Department of Consumer Affairs, from an Oceanside homeowner and a Hicksville homeowner, both of whom paid him for work which subsequently was not done. As is frequently the case, we found in investigating these complaints that the contractor was operating without a license.

"In the Oceanside matter, the homeowner paid the defendant a deposit of $3,000 toward a total agreed-upon cost of $8,000 for outdoor brickwork and a new driveway. The work was never begun. While the defendant ultimately refunded $2,500 of the deposit, the homeowner was still out $500 as well as several hundred dollars incurred in preparation for having the work done. After the victim brought action in Small Claims Court, the defendant agreed to a settlement of $750, but he has not paid it.

"In the Hicksville case, the defendant received $2,000 out of a total cost of $5,700 for renovations to a driveway, walkway and sidewalk. Workers began the job, tearing up the old concrete and framing out the sidewalk, but then never returned. The victim ultimately obtained a $2,071.40 judgement against the defendant in Small Claims Court, but it has not been paid."

"Once again," said Roger Bogsted, Nassau County Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, "we have homeowners victimized by an unlicensed home improvement operator. It is essential that homeowners guard against these unscrupulous practitioners by checking the legitimacy of home improvement contractors before paying them any money."

Bogsted urged homeowners to contact the Department of Consumer Affairs at 571-2600 to check on the legitimacy of a home improvement company, or to register a complaint about incomplete or unsatisfactory work.