MILLINOCKET, Maine — A paving contractor who allegedly used illegal sales tactics and did substandard work for at least two businesses and a Lincoln resident last week also might have done similar jobs for as many as nine residents of this community, police said Thursday.
Detective Ron McCarthy of the Millinocket Police Department said he received complaints Thursday that Bituminous Paving, a contracting company out of Lowell, Mass., had done what could be fraudulent work on driveways.
“It might be a civil matter,” McCarthy said Thursday.
One Iron Bridge Road resident, Gilbert Bouchard, said he and six other Iron Bridge residents had their driveways paved by Bituminous for about $3,000 each about two weeks ago, but that the quality of work done appears poor.
“It looked at first like they did all right, but the tar didn’t even harden at all,” Bouchard said Thursday. “It was two or three weeks before we could drive on it. Some of the street paving is real thin and he wasn’t even licensed on it and we didn’t even know about that.”
Bituminous Paving’s owner, 24-year-old William Stanley of Lowell, Mass., denied having done any work in Millinocket over the last several weeks or taking advantage of anyone. The charges Lincoln police filed against him were the result of a misunderstanding, he said.
Stanley said he was unaware that under state law, contractors must be state-registered, provide written contracts and estimates of work, and allow a three-day grace period, in which customers can cancel the signed contracts, before work can begin.
Stanley admitted that he provided none of these things to a Lincoln business whose parking lot he paved. He said the lack of a written contract was attributable to his brother-in-law’s having negotiated the deal as a verbal agreement, and that he has since fired his brother-in-law.
“I didn’t know that you needed a license. I am a big company but I am not that big,” said Stanley, who has two people working for him.
“I am not going to lie to you. I was ignorant. I didn’t know the law,” Stanley said Thursday. “I am taking care of this now. If I was a deadbeat, would you be able to get a hold of me?”
Stanley is due in Lincoln District Court on Aug. 4 to answer three Class E misdemeanor criminal charges. He was charged on June 18 with violating the Door to Door Home Repair Sellers Act, the Consumer Soliciting Sales Act and the Transient Sales Act, Lincoln police have said.
Lincoln police found Stanley at a Lee Road residence on Thursday arguing with a business owner there over Stanley’s alleged attempt to raise the price to $4,500 for some pothole filling in a parking lot. The homeowner argued successfully to lower the price to $1,000, Police Chief William Flagg said. Another business already had paid $4,500 for paving.
Bituminous Paving, Flagg and Lincoln Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said, is a “gypsy paving crew” that claimed to be working for the town.
He and his four-member crew never made such a claim, Stanley said. He said he was in Lincoln paving a “private job,” and had some extra asphalt left over. This, police said, is how such operators typically work.
In fact, Stanley said he plans to move to Maine soon.
“I don’t like how they did this to me,” he said. “They are making like I am the bad guy here. As soon as they told me I need a license and that, I said, well, we will take care of that. And I said we won’t do any more work until I get it taken care of.”
Lincoln police, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department and state police said they were unaware Thursday of any other pending paving contractor complaints.
Meanwhile, another paving contractor named Stanley — 52-year-old William Stanley of Bangor — feels similarly burned. The owner of Greater Northern Paving Co. of Bangor said that since news of the other Stanley’s arrest began to circulate, people have been confusing him and his company with Bituminous.
They are not the same, he said.
Greater Northern Paving Co. has been in business since 1978, comes with multiple customer references, and has all of its required state licenses, Stanley said. He said it was frustrating to be confused with someone charged with a crime.
“I know their practice. It just makes it hard for everybody else,” Stanley said.
“I have had a pretty good reputation,” he added. “I go out and work all kinds of hours. I start at 6 in the morning and I will stay out until 8 or 9 at night. I just don’t go out and drop a bunch of guys at a site.”