Family complains about work done on their home by contractor

By Tyana Williams

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Members of a Baton Rouge family say after Hurricane Gustav, a tree fell on their house, water rushed in, and mold took over. They found a local contractor who told them they'd be home by Thanksgiving, but they say they're still waiting.

The Butlers say their house has been under construction for six weeks, but for the last two weeks, they say they haven't seen the contractor. On the other hand, the contractor, Darrell Cager, says he's 95% done with the work.

A pile of molded sheetrock and duct work lies outside the Butler family's home. The homeowners say the inside isn't much better. "They put this door up and it's not right," says Charetta Butler. "It has big gaps, if you go outside and look. Had to retouch the wall, it was retouched with the wrong color." Butler says the cans of paint and tools that lie about have not been touched in weeks. "He's been working on our house for about six weeks." When was the last time you saw him? "About two weeks ago."

A list of things to be done in each room states electrical work and fans need to be hung, but there are exposed wires and the fans are on the floors. "They put our fan up, we have a big hole, where they cut the hole too big," says Butler. She says after writing her contractor, Darrell Cager, two checks totaling more than $10,000, the work on her house stopped. "He stopped showing up with the supplies. His workers would show up at eight in the morning, sit here 'til two or three o'clock to wait on him. We would call, they would call, no answer."

Cager says he did work on the house last week and only has 5% left before the house is complete. "This is another room they did. Watch your step 'cause they have stuff patched up to make us believe it was done. It's not down," Butler says. Cager also says the homeowners don't allow him to work when they're not there. A conversation between him and Mr. Butler was recorded while a news crew was still at the home.

"What happened to you yesterday meeting me by the house?" Butler asks. "What happened to coming by the house Friday?" Cager asks back. "Yeah," Butler replies. "Oh man, I got tied up in Mississippi," Cager says. "In Mississippi?" Butler inquires in return. Cager goes on to say he will have a crew at the house Sunday at 8:00am. "You said that yesterday, now," Butler says. "Huh?" Cager asks. "I said, 'You said that yesterday,' you was gonna have them over here, so now you saying..." Butler replies. "I didn't talk to you yesterday," Cager says. "Yeah, but we talked couple days ago and you said Friday was the day you were coming, right?" says Butler. "Right, right, yeah, yeah," Cager replies.

Cager says he keeps a log book on all of his customers and it shows he was at the house last week. Cager says he also logged the conversation he had with Mr. Butler. When asked what day the book indicated he was at the Butler's home, he said he didn't know.