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Contractor under fire for his work

October 25, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

A Hagerstown contractor who owes the state $5,275 because of poor work he did for a blind woman four years ago continues to do work here even though his license has been suspended, according to court records.

Daniel Lee Little, 40, of 905 Security Road in Hagerstown, has four November court dates on charges of working without a license and writing bad checks, according to records in Washington County District Court.

"It appears Mr. Little is continuing to victimize innocent members of the community," wrote parole and probation agent Jacelyn A. McDonnell in a Aug. 11 request for a bench warrant for Little for an alleged probation violation.

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In addition, City Building Inspector Mike Heyser said he has received complaints that Little failed to honor contracts as recently as August.

When asked about the charges and recent complaints, Little said in a telephone interview that he is paying restitution.

He said he is now doing commercial work for which he has a city license.

But that license will be canceled on Nov. 5 at the request of Little's bonding company, South Dakota-based Western Surety Co., which said Little failed to pay his bond premium, Heyser said.

Little said he was unaware of the impending cancellation.

Heyser said he had not received any complaints about Little concerning work he did under the city license, which is for commercial properties and apartment buildings.

Little said he doesn't need the state contractor's license to do commercial work.

But he does need a construction license from circuit court, said Georgia Duffee, executive director of the Maryland Home Improvement Commission.

There is no record of a commercial license for a Daniel Lee Little, but Little could be operating under a company's construction license, according to the Washington County Circuit Court clerk's office.

Little said he is doing work for several companies which should have construction licenses, but refused to name the companies.

Little's state contractor's license for home improvement work was suspended in November 1996 after the Maryland Home Improvement Commission had to compensate one of his clients $250 for poor workmanship, Duffee said.

A month later the commission compensated a legally blind Boonsboro woman $3,725 for the same reason, Duffee said. Little was penalized $1,550 in that case, and was required to reimburse the state for the rest of the money, she said.

He hasn't, she said.

The Boonsboro victim, Phyllis Nunamaker, said in an interview that she hired Little four years ago to build a laundry room addition onto the first floor of her home at 436 Vermont Ave. in Hagerstown, where she lived at the time.

When the work was completed, she said, she found many things wrong, including the fact that light could be seen between the house wall and the addition, she said.

Nunamaker said she paid Little $10,740 for the addition and for installation of a roof and storm door.

More recently, Hagerstown resident Sandra Fox, 57, said she hired Little to repair her West Franklin Street roof by Aug. 15, but hasn't seen him since early August.

She said she gave him a $225 down payment.

"It's still not fixed," Fox said.

Court records

According to court records, Little faces the following charges:

* Violation of probation by failing to pay restitution of $1,500 to Michael Cunningham by Aug. 1. He has since has made a $100 payment, according to court records.

Cunningham gave Little the money in 1996 as a down payment to install siding and make other improvements to 21 Wye Oak Drive in Funkstown. Little failed to do the work, according to court records.

Little pleaded guilty to acting as a contractor without a license and was ordered to pay restitution.

* Acting as a contractor without a license and failing to perform a contract for Winton Burger, who hired Little in August 1996 to install vinyl soffit and paint windows, according to court records.

Burger paid Little $350 of the $675 cost, the records said.

* Three counts of writing bad checks totaling $1,083 to Lowe's Home Center on Wesel Boulevard in August and September 1996, and two counts of theft of less than $300, according to court records.

He was charged with one count each of theft of less than $300 and writing a bad check for $125 to Moore's Building Supplies on Dual Highway in January 1997, court records said.

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