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Unlicensed contractor leaves Valley projects unfinished for months

Posted at 5:00 AM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 09:04:57-05

For months Larry's backyard has been in a half-finished state.

"He won't even return a call," said Larry.

At the suggestion of a neighbor, in July he hired Jose Flores-Espinosa with Iron Horse Welding Works LLC.

The plan was to remove an existing fence and replace it with a taller one.

"I wanted to go to the five-foot [fence] so that we keep out the occasional coyotes that come through here," said Larry. 

Instead, He has been left with no fence, just a row of posts and a handwritten note from Jose saying he would give Larry his $4,200 back if the job wasn't done.

Well, that note has proved worthless.

The fence was still not done when we showed up and Larry hasn't gotten any money back.

So, we called Jose for answers.

He said it was a mix-up, that Larry was "hard to work with," but that he would be out to do the job on December 13.

"I don't think he's gonna, you know, show up and get it done. I could be totally wrong. But I doubt it, you know," said Larry.

Jose never showed.

We called again, but his phone wasn't accepting calls or messages.

We texted and he promised to call us back later.

When we finally spoke, he said he's had "too much work" to finish Larry's fence, but it would be done the next day.

"I lost basically $4,200," said Larry.

Now if this was the first time Jose made a promise, we may have believed him, but if you do some digging Iron Horse Welding Works LLC has a long list of bad reviews dating back years.

There are also fines issued by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors against Jose for doing work without a license.

If you dig even deeper, there's several lawsuits against the company in recent months. One of those is a Valley HOA claiming they are out $12,000.

When asked about all of that Jose said he was aware of it but wanted to talk about Larry.

So, how is this guy still out there?

We asked the Registrar of Contractors if he's still on their radar and they say big time. 

There have been 21 complaints filed against Jose and Iron Horse Welding Works LLC since 2012. Of those, 17 are now closed, but they have led to Jose pleading guilty three times for contracting without a license - a class 1 misdemeanor. 

But is that enough? We'll keep asking.