Taking Action Update: Police look to get more involved in tracking down unlicensed contractors

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – We found Connie Ibarra when city inspectors shut off power to her kitchen because of the deficient work of an unlicensed contractor.

It looked like a lot of situations that inspectors deal with, but Randy Cunningham of the Huntsville City Inspections Department describes it as “kind of the Cinderella case.”

He uses the term, because since that story aired, we’ve had a lot people reach out to help, and it looks like things will turn around for her.

Cunningham points out, “That’s not the case most of the time.”

Most get overwhelmed by the process and the money involved.

Many of these cases wind up in front of city inspectors, but Cunningham explains they don’t have a ton of enforcement power, “We can turn over any information we have to the proper agencies, but we really don’t have any real teeth as far as that goes.”

Thankfully their quest for truth will soon grow some teeth.

Cunningham elaborates, “Our police department is working on setting up a meeting between our state agencies, our homebuilders licensing board, and the city’s police department in making some kind of change in where the individuals that have been wronged can take the information they’ve been given and take it to the district attorney’s office.”

That will help inspectors get the proper documents turned over so that victims can pursue criminal charges. Right now, bad or unlicensed work often only ends in fines.

Cunningham says hopefully, “A lot of these things that are not working out right people will work out a whole lot easier for people.”

The first meeting will happen this week.

Randy Cunningham says he’d expect new policies within the month.