Oxford revokes contractor's business license

Aug. 23—OXFORD — The City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to revoke the business license of Pro Quality Services, LLC operated by Kenneth Nicholas Askea.

Askea maintains he only made one mistake, but the city building officer is standing by his recommendation.

The official notice to Askea of the public hearing on the revocation stated that his license was being recommended for suspension due to his contracting work $10,000 and over without a State of Alabama homebuilders license, performing plumbing work without a State of Alabama plumbers license, performing electrical work without a State of Alabama electrical license, not purchasing permits for work done within the city, receiving full payment for work that has not been completed and the issue of full refunds which has not been made in three cases within the city limits.

The notice sent by director of planning/zoning and buildings Mike Roberts informed Askea that reports of the case have been filed with the Oxford Police Department. Roberts explained to council members one of the victims involved "really got this started" after posting her problems on social media asking others if they had the same experiences.

Roberts told the council Askea did call to inform him he would not be appearing at the public hearing.

"He said, 'I know I was wrong and there is probably no point in me coming in to argue,'" Roberts said, adding the state electrical board "got him Friday" and the home builders "were in my office today putting their package together to go get him and the plumbing board is doing the same thing."

Roberts noted doing the work without the proper licenses "is against state law."

According to city documents, Askea applied for and received his current business license on Feb. 14 of this year — and it would have expired at the end of the year.

Askea, of Roanoke, told The Anniston Star on Wednesday afternoon the problems described in the complaint were made of "time and me not pulling a permit."

"I had already surrendered my license and had told Mike Roberts that," Askea said. "I'll stand on the fact I've done absolutely, positively nothing wrong except for forgetting to pull a permit and Mike Roberts said I probably more than likely can file to get my license back."

Askea said the initial complainant "did not give the truth as to what it really was."

"There was no criminal intent," he said. "I did nothing criminal. I didn't have a permit to do the job and I'll stand on that. All the information she gave over was false information as far as the contract we were working on. There was no contract because she ended up changing the whole contract right after we had demolished the bathroom. She had changed what she wanted to do so it voided the contract she had."

He added the contract was not going to be "close to $10,000 worth or work — more like $8,600 worth of work to be put into the bathroom."

"That is under the $10,000 threshold I am able to work on," Askea said. "It boils down to it wasn't getting done in her time frame. She took a vacation in the middle of demolishing it and changed her mind on what she wanted to do."

Askea said he does not have state licenses for home building, plumbing or electrical.

"I don't have a general contractors license and never said I did to anyone," he said. 'I've never advertised I had one. I do advertise I'm licensed and insured but my license is a business license and a state business license."

Roberts says he stands by the more than 100 pages of documentation he used to recommend the license revocation and never spoke with Askea concerning the possibility of being able to get his license reinstated.

He said a builder must have a state card for any construction over $10,000.

"For electrical, there is no minimum amount," Roberts said. "You must have a card showing you are a certified electrician or you don't do the work. Plumbing is the same thing. HVAC is the same thing."

"All of his contracts offered those services and he actually did it," Roberts said. "That's why the state is working on the case."

Roberts says he views this incident as "a public service announcement."

"If you are going to hire a builder and he needs half the money up front to start, he is not very reputable or well established," Roberts said. "Anybody that has been doing this a long time can go to Oxford Lumber, order all the materials they need and get billed in 30 days. They won't need money up front."

"And never, never, never pay anybody for work they haven't done," Roberts said, noting one of the jobs that was in question "was a one-month job he left that had been paid for and didn't come back until we were contacted about it and contacted him."

"He told me he had it covered and would get her taken care of," Roberts said. "I said OK, but if I caught him again I promised I would take him to the City Council and ask to have his license revoked. He said, 'I've learned my lesson and I'll never do this again.'"

"Well, I caught him again and I kept my promise," Roberts said.

Staff Writer Brian Graves: 256-236-1551.