FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wed., August 28, 2019
Breanna Bang, Public Information Liaison
Previous Most Wanted Unlicensed Entities
Added Back to AZ ROC Most Wanted List
PHOENIX, Ariz., (August 28, 2019) –The Arizona Registrar of Contractors (AZ ROC) is adding Joseph William Wharton II, 32 of Chandler, and Donald Elliot Libby II, 55 of Phoenix, to the Most Wanted Unlicensed Entities List, again.
Both Wharton and Libby were previously on the Most Wanted list, but were removed after all active warrants were quashed and they were no longer “wanted.”
On August 14, 2019, the East Mesa Justice Court ordered a warrant for Wharton after he failed to pay court-ordered restitution. Wharton pleaded guilty to Contracting Without a License, a Class 1 Misdemeanor on September 20, 2018. After the June 25, 2019 restitution hearing, Wharton was ordered to pay $7,900 in restitution to the victim. The charges stemmed from an AZ ROC investigation that found Wharton was paid $7,900 by an 86 year old Mesa homeowner for roof repairs following a leak. Wharton did perform some work, however, the quality was poor and the materials were not appropriate for the job.
On July 9, 2019, the Pinal County Superior Court issued a warrant for Libby, who is wanted on the charge of Contracting Without a License, a Class 1 Misdemeanor. The charge was filed by the Pinal County Attorney's Office and stems from an AZ ROC investigation that found Libby was paid $1,400 for a granite countertop installation after the homeowner found Libby via the popular app Offerup. Libby never returned to start the job or deliver materials after receiving payment.
Libby is also wanted on a Failure to Appear warrant issued by the County Meadows Justice Court on February 19, 2019. The charges stem from an AZ ROC investigation that found Libby was paid $1,200 by a Phoenix homeowner to fabricate and install new countertops. The homeowner hired Libby after finding his advertisement on Craigslist. No work was performed and no materials were delivered.
To see the full list of individuals on the AZ ROC’s Most Wanted Unlicensed Entity List and all Unlicensed Violations click here.
AZ ROC frequently receives complaints where an unlicensed entity claims a license is not required for the project because they are either working under a “handyman exemption” or as a consultant on the job. There is no exemption from licensure for handymen. If hiring someone else to do the work and the entire project, including labor and materials, is over $1,000 or requires a permit by the local municipality, a license is required by Arizona Revised Statute 32-1121.
AZ ROC investigated 10 cases involving Joseph William Wharton II between 2005 and 2017. Nine cease and desists were issued, and two cases also resulted in the Agency ordering a total of $4,000 in civil penalties. Five cases were submitted to the county attorney’s office for prosecution review.
AZ ROC investigated 10 cases involving Donald Elliot Libby II between 2013 and 2019. Nine of those cases were submitted to the county attorney’s office for prosecution review. One case was closed at the victims request after they negotiated a settlement with Libby.