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Volunteers step up after contractor agreement doesn't work out

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BATON ROUGE - Volunteers from Michigan are helping one woman rebuild from the August 2016 flood. The team with Samaritan's Purse has been busy restoring the home for the past few weeks.

The homeowner was originally receiving help from Restore Louisiana, but that's been put on hold for the time being.

The homeowner's daughter, Lindsey Robinson she's taken issue with the contractor hired to do the work and how he used the money from a check sent from Restore Louisiana.

"When the money came he took some of the money that was supposed to be for the restoring of her house," said Robinson.

She says it's about $3,200.

The homeowner has been waiting patiently for her flood-damaged home to be restored to livable conditions once again. She hired Jimmie Emery of One Bravo, LLC to do the job. A subcontractor, Terrence Johnson of One Stop Remodeling and Construction, LLC based out of Heartland, TX was hired prior to Emery. Johnson was to work under Emery's license. Emery says he's a project manager over work being done.

Johnson tells 2 On Your Side he worked under Emery's Louisiana home improvement contractor registration and paid Emery $2,000 to do so. Robinson says Emery was approved by Restore Louisiana to work on the house. Johnson started the work and when the homeowner's first check arrived in the mail in February, it was made out to the homeowner and Emery.

There's a disagreement over the money and how it was distributed. Robinson says Emery kept $3,239.85.

It wasn't until later that Robinson learned from an attorney it's illegal for the subcontractor to work under a contractor's license.

Johnson tells WBRZ he's owed thousands of dollars for the work he did. He says he was never paid. It's put some things on hold for Robinson's mother since the remaining award from Restore Louisiana won't be released until the original contractor releases her from the contract.

"It's just put her in a bad position," said Robinson.

She says some repairs her mom needs are not covered by Samaritan's Purse and she might have to pay out of pocket, which is money she doesn't have right now.

"Because of the paperwork situation with Mr. Emery she can't, they can't help her," Robinson said.

Now approaching that two-year mark following the 2016 flood, Robinson is losing hope that the paperwork issue will be resolved. It's also why she's so thankful for the volunteers helping out her mother.

In a statement after the story appeared on television, the owner of One Bravo, LLC, disputed the homeowner's concerns and said it has acted in good faith.
"One Bravo LLC has been to the jobsite and have sent people to the jobsite with Mrs. Viola to resolve issues," said Jimmie Emery.
Emery says the reason the homeowner's home construction was put on hold is because the homeowner didn't have the money to pay for the work.
Since the contract was not completed, Emery said the company was considering only charging the homeowner for taxes and office costs for what was completed. Otherwise, the contractor would be entitled to 33 percent of the contract.
One Bravo, LLC says it has administration costs in the amount of $3,000 and taxes of $6,352,60. The contract has not been completed and pending a cancelation of the contract, Emery says his company has taken money for taxes in the amount of $794.96 and administration fees of $2,444.89.
Robinson maintains that Emery only had to pay federal income taxes on money that went into his pocket.
Both parties involved continue to work with a lawyer to resolve the issues.

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