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Board says contractor lacks licenses


A Glen Burnie contractor who reportedly used unlicensed workers to install an air-conditioning system that caused $4,000 damage to an Arnold home, was blasted Monday by an advisory board for contractors.

"Your mechanics are not mechanics," Daniel L. Jarzynski, chairman of the Board of Environmental Systems Examiners, said during an hour-long hearing. "They are not licensed in this county to do the work that's supposed to be done."

Board members heard testimony yesterday regarding complaints that American Mechanical Associates Inc., of Blades Road, installed an air-conditioning system illegally by using unlicensed workers. In another case, also reviewed Monday, American Mechanical is accused of doing mechanical work without the proper permit.

Complaints against the contractor came to light after an Arnold man called the county's Department of Inspections and Permits saying water was leaking from his air-conditioning units.

In the second case, a county inspector arrived at a job site in Glen Burnie to find work being done without the required permit.

If American Mechanical is found guilty of alleged violations, board members can recommend sanctions ranging from suspension to permanent revocation of the company's license. After the hearing, Mr. Jarzynski said the board had reached a decision in both cases, but members refused to comment.

Those recommendations were forwarded to Robert J. Dvorak, Director of Inspections and Permits. Only Mr. Dvorak has the authority to impose sanctions. Yesterday, he had not released a statement regarding any action to be taken and could not be reached for comment.

But at the hearing, held at the Heritage Office Complex off Riva Road, board members made it clear they were dissatisfied with the company's performance.

During exchanges that sometimes reached shouting, board members reminded John W. Mavis Sr., a licensed mechanical contractor and officer with American Mechanical, that county licensing requirements have been in place since 1967.

Board member Richard G. Roeder Jr. said, "No one at American Mechanical has a license, including the president. How can a man be a president of a mechanical [contracting] company and not even have a journeyman's card?"

Richard Novak, who moved into his Arnold home in June, said movers first noticed water seeping through the living room ceiling. He shut down the air-conditioning system and called American Mechanical. Repairmen were sent out repeatedly, but each time the units were turned on, the leaking resumed.

Mr. Novak said servicemen came out 12 times before all problems were corrected. About $4,000 in damage was done to ceilings, walls and floors in the 30-year-old, ranch-style house. Mr. Novak has said he will seek damages in small claims court.

Mr. Mavis admitted Monday the house had been damaged, but added that repairs to the air-conditioning system were made in a timely fashion.

"I thought things were done in due course," he said.

Harold B. Murnane III, a lawyer representing Mr. Mavis, maintained that the company did not consider the job done until Aug. 4, when it finally passed the county inspection. He said if the Novaks had not used the system prematurely, their home would not have been damaged.

Mr. Roeder said even if no damage had been done, unlicensed workers were hired and no one with the proper credentials oversaw the job, both of which are violations.

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