June 25, 2018
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Charges dropped against Belfast garage door installer

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine — A local man charged earlier this year with home repair fraud will not be prosecuted, according to the Waldo County assistant district attorney.

Michael Mortell, 52, owner of WinsMor Garage Door Co. Inc. in Belfast, was the subject of an investigation by the Belfast Police Department after a Bristol couple complained in December that he had not installed three garage doors for them.

“Sgt. Bryan Cunningham did have probable cause to summons you for the crime of Home Repair Fraud Class D,” Katie Hollstrom, the assistant district attorney, wrote Mortell in a letter dated April 15. “Although I do not agree with your business practices after you entered into the contract, and think that the treatment of the victims in this case regarding the installation of their garage doors was less than forthright, I do not believe the state, at this time, can prove that you violated a subsection of the home repair fraud statute.”

Mortell said Monday that the charge of fraud has hurt his small business.

“I don’t agree with the DA’s business practices in letting the police do this to me,” he said.

Efforts to get in touch with a Belfast Police Department official on the Patriot’s Day holiday were unsuccessful.

At the end of September, the couple from Bristol had given Mortell a check for $1,000 that served as a down payment for the work he agreed to do, according to an earlier report from Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham of the Belfast Police Department.

Cunningham said that when the couple learned that WinsMor’s Better Business Bureau’s accreditation had been revoked on Dec. 18, they decided to get in touch with police.

According to the Better Business Bureau’s website, the company’s rating was lowered in part because of the business’s failure to respond to complaints filed against it.

Mortell said that he received the complaints because a former employee didn’t do the work he said he was doing. Mortell added that he’s trying to get his accreditation back.

As for the garage doors in question, the Bristol couple had different doors installed after filing a complaint against Wins-Mor. He said he hasn’t returned the $1,000 deposit yet and does not know what will happen next. The custom-painted doors remain in his shop, he said.

“They’re going to have to decide whether they want to take me to civil court,” he said.


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