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NEWS RELEASE:

County of Rockland
Office of the County Executive Office of the County Legislature 
NEWS RELEASE

Date: May 9, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ron Levine (845) 638-5645 Betsy Saetre (845) 638-5184

County to Crackdown on Unlicensed Contractors
Sheriff’s Office to Begin Weekend Enforcement Efforts

(New City, NY) County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef today announced that discussions between County Legislator Chris Carey, the Rockland County Office of Consumer Protection, and the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, have resulted in a pilot plan to crackdown on unlicensed contractors on weekends, commencing in early May. 

“I am pleased with the close cooperation between the County’s Office of Consumer Protection and Sheriff Falco’s office that resulted in a commitment to initiate weekend crackdowns on unlicensed contractors,� said Vanderhoef. “This joint effort will help ensure consumers in Rockland County are better protected from shoddy, unsafe and unprofessional work throughout the week. I particularly want to thank Legislator Carey for bringing this to the attention of our Office of Consumer Protection and his steadfast efforts in working with the administration to protect consumers from unscrupulous contractors.�  

 “Unlicensed contractors undercut the legitimate contractors as many do not carry liability and worker’s compensation insurance and may not invest in continuing education to keep pace with industry standards,� said Legislator Carey. “Substandard work can result in more expense and jeopardize the health and safety of the homeowner and family; and work-related injuries not covered by insurance can result in long legal battles and financial disaster for the homeowner. Sheriff Falco and Terry Grosselfinger, the Director of Consumer Protection, are extremely supportive of this initiative and have agreed upon a solution that provides for a weekend enforcement program beginning in early May.� 

As part of the pilot initiative, Sheriff’s officers will respond to complaints of unlicensed contractors and will check to determine if the party in question has a current and valid county contractor’s license as required by local law. The economic downturn over the past five years has resulted in a proliferation of unlicensed contractors, according to local licensed contractors. The goal of the effort is to level the playing field for the licensed contractors in the county and to protect consumers from shoddy and unsafe work.  

“The partnership between the Sheriff’s Office, licensed contractors and Consumer Protection allows law enforcement to hold the unlicensed contractors (Businesses and individuals) to the same standard as every law compliant business owner who follows the rules and, more importantly, the law,� said Sheriff Falco. “We are all in hard financial times and as such the unlicensed contractor is avoiding licensing fees, insurance, and in many cases, doesn’t file for proper permits to do work that requires special licenses and inspections. Therefore, we, in law enforcement, must do our part to help stop unlicensed contractors.�

"Unlicensed contractors should take heed,� warned Grosselfinger, “They face criminal charges, substantial fines and possible impoundment of their vehicles if they are found working in the County without a license.�

Gregg Smith, president of the Rockland County Builders’ Association and Steve Botto, president of the Rockland County Landscapers’ Association are encouraged by the enforcement program. “This is a positive step in the right direction,� said Mr. Smith. “To engage enforcement by the Sheriff’s Office will help to better ensure the safety of homeowners and maintain the integrity of the construction industry.�  

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TO REPORT UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS CALL:  845-638-5401
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