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Local builder accused of leaving clients high and dry

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BATON ROUGE - The state Contractor's Licensing Board revoked an upscale homebuilder's license, after a host of complaints from clients who complained about unfinished work, shoddy workmanship, and unpaid subcontractors.

Jim Fussell who owns, Custom Homes by Jim Fussell Inc., can no longer accept new work. A group of people who hired him claim they are out hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, Fussell is tangled up in a web of legal problems.

"The decision of the licensing board speaks for itself," John Andrishok, attorney for the board said. "There was a lengthy hearing that took place and the board that is composed of folks that deal with contracting or are engaged in contracting business for a living found Mr. Fussell was not fit to be a residential contractor."

The clients who made the allegations said they could not talk on camera due to their pending lawsuits, but said they have been through hell dealing with Fussell.

Fussell's attorney, Scott Frazier says there's an explanation for what happened, but wouldn't reveal what that is.

"We're very confident we will be vindicated in July," Frazier said. "We think the actions of the board are not defensible, and we're very confident we'll prevail."

The Attorney General's Office is looking into complaints of shoddy workmanship. All sides are due back in court on July 21.

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