UPDATE: Contractor meets with Huntsville inspectors, gets 4-day pass to make things right on woman’s home repairs

Taking Action
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - We have new developments in a WHNT News 19 Taking Action investigation.  Wednesday, we profiled Connie Ibarra, whose home is in shambles after she hired a man named Joshua Harris to make accessibility modifications to her home.

"I don't have any more money. I gave him all the money I had," Ibarra said.

City of Huntsville inspectors say almost every aspect of her house fails to meet code.  Now Connie can barely cook, bathe, or get around.  WHNT News 19 shared Connie's story on Wednesday. Now you'll hear from Harris, the man who represented himself as a contractor.

WHNT News 19's Carrie Marchese questions Joshua Harris outside the city inspector's office.
WHNT News 19's Carrie Marchese questions Joshua Harris outside the city inspector's office.

We caught up with Harris at the city inspection department on Thursday morning.  He showed up to answer for his poor work and treatment of Ibarra. WHNT News 19 was there too, and followed Harris right down the stairway.

"You can do an interview with my attorney in about an hour," Harris said.

"Can I just ask you what you plan to do as far as taking care of Connie Ibarra's situation?" we asked him.

"I told David yesterday we would give her the money back after we get our license and just whatever she asks, we will get it all taken care of," said Harris.

"So, if she wants a full refund, you're willing to do that?" we pressed.

"Yes," he replied.

We asked city inspectors where Harris stands with them.

Randy Cunningham, Director of Huntsville's Inspections Department
Randy Cunningham, Director of Huntsville's Inspections Department

"We have given him an opportunity to try to make things right, if not, we have cited him to court. Whether that citation is warranted or not is up to him," said Randy Cunningham, Director of the City of Huntsville's Inspection Department. Cunningham added other state agencies could get involved.  That would mean bad news for Harris.

So come Monday, January 26 at 9:00 a.m. Harris has to account for the mess at Connie Ibarra's house.  He must also show receipts for what he's spent.  Then, he must cut Connie a certified check for the remaining cash.

"That's our whole desire, to do what we can to make it right with her," said Cunningham.

That's more than a fair shake on the city's part. Now we wait to see what happens.  "The ball's in his court to make things right," Cunningham added.

Joshua Harris is going to be busy on Monday.  The city's deadline is the same time he's scheduled to be in Madison County court on unrelated criminal charges.  He is scheduled to go to trial for theft by fraudulent leasing.

Court records show Harris also has multiple drug charges dating back to 2007.  In 2011, he was jailed for failing to register as a sex offender.

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NOTE: A number of contractors, plumbers, electricians and other trade companies have contacted WHNT News 19 since our initial report aired highlighting the problems with Connie Ibarra's home repairs.   We truly appreciate your offers to help in the situation.  We are working on this aspect and plan to be in touch soon.  Again, thank you.

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