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Aluminum contractor ordered to stop work

Pasco County building officials have temporarily suspended the license of a New Port Richey aluminum contractor charged with defrauding elderly customers. David E. Burch's license will remain suspended until he obtains building permits and sees that work he began on an elderly woman's home in Magnolia Valley is completed properly, said county investigator Dick Hines.

Pasco's Building Board of Adjustment and Appeals voted to suspend Burch's license at a meeting Tuesday night after considering charges that he did not get permits for the work and did not do work that complied with the county's building codes.

The building board dismissed for lack of evidence a second complaint involving work on an elderly woman's home in Colonial Hills, Hines said.

The building board's action does not have any effect on the prosecution of criminal charges against Burch, 24, of David E. Burch Construction Co.

On May 14, Pasco County sheriff's detectives charged Burch with exploitation of the aged and with grand theft after he allegedly charged the 84-year-old woman more than $21,000 for work worth about $3,600.

Two weeks later, detectives added two more counts of exploitation of the elderly and grand theft. They charged that Burch took about $52,000 from women age 83 and 75.

In both cases, authorities say that Burch and unidentified sales representatives got the women to sign contracts for home repairs after telling them that their homes needed extensive work.

In one case, according to detectives' reports, the customer did not have enough cash to pay for the work, so Burch went to the bank with her so that she could take out a loan. She then signed the check over to him.

When detectives and inspectors examined the homes, they found shoddy workmanship and fire hazards, according to authorities.