FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 3, 2021
Breanna Bang, Public Information Liaison
Unlicensed Flagstaff Home Builder Pleaded Guilty to Contracting Without a License
PHOENIX, Ariz., (May 3, 2021) –On Wed., April 28, 2021, Michael Valenzuela, 32 of Flagstaff, pleaded guilty to Contracting Without a License, a Class 1 Misdemeanor in the Flagstaff Justice Court.
The case stems from an Arizona Registrar of Contractors (AZ ROC) investigation which found that Valenzuela, DBA Valenzuela’s Construction LLC, contracted to build a new home in Flagstaff for $282,420. According to the homeowners, Valenzuela falsely told the homeowners he was currently licensed to do electrical work and was applying for a General Contractors license. The homeowners mistakenly believed Valenzuela was “using” or “borrowing” the license belonging to a licensed contractor until he could get his own.
The project dragged on past the original completion date leading the homeowners to contact their lawyer. Their lawyer informed them Valenzuela was not legally allowed to do the work, which is when they told Valenzuela to stop working and filed an unlicensed complaint with AZ ROC.
In addition to the work being incomplete, the homeowners also learned through a home evaluation that some of the work needed to be corrected. After paying Valenzuela $282,420, an estimate shows it will cost them another $198,925 to complete and correct the work before they can move in.
Valenzuela was fined $1,921. No restitution was awarded in this case.
AZ ROC investigated another complaint against Valenzuela in 2018 and in July 2019 he pleaded guilty to Contracting Without a License in the Flagstaff Justice Court.
AZ ROC reminds home and property owners that a company is either licensed or they are not. License numbers cannot be “borrowed” and a company cannot claim to be working under another company’s license. Individuals must also be bona fide employees of a contractor to be covered by their license, which means among other things, the company is in compliance with workers’ compensation and tax laws. Always check the license at www.roc.az.gov or give the AZ ROC a call at 1-877-MY-AZROC (1-877-692-9762) before hiring a contractor.