Contractor’s scam is up

Sharon Scheidt of Silverdale breathed a sigh of relief Thursday as she exited Kitsap County District Court in Silverdale.

Her small claims case was dismissed, ending months of worry and frustration.

“I was scared to death,” Scheidt said as she and daughter Rita Dawson went outside to get some fresh air.

Scheidt and a growing number of Kitsap residents thought they were getting new windows or roofs on their homes when they signed with Energy Design Group (EDG) of Tacoma. Instead they paid for services not rendered, became defendants in small claims court, or had liens placed on their homes when suppliers weren’t paid.

In Sheidt’s case, she was sued for $4,000 for canceling the $20,000 contract after the three-day right of rescission expired. Although the contract informs the buyer of the three-day window, Scheidt’s roof work was contingent on approved financing and her divorce becoming final. She got the divorce, but was not approved for financing. She canceled the contract.

EDG filed the case Sept. 12, 2003, and Scheidt’s first appearance was Jan. 7. The case was continued to Thursday, because of her impending divorce. EDG representatives failed to appear in court, much less argue their case and it was dismissed.

Scheidt still lost a $100 deposit, but was grateful the ordeal was finally over.

“I would have liked to see a judgment against them,” Dawson said. “They’ve taken advantage of so many people.”

Jim Longmate of Central Kitsap attended the hearing and hopes his parents’ case will go the same way. They are due in court June 2 and are suing EDG for $3,300 to reclaim the down payment his parents made for new windows.

He has compiled an extensive list of homeowners and businesses who have conducted business with EDG. Two Kitsap residents have had liens placed on their homes because EDG failed to pay their supplier, Empire Pacific Windows, for products delivered.

They, like Scheidt and most of the other Kitsap residents entangled in the mess, filled out a contact form at the 2003 Kitsap County Fair where EDG had a booth.

In August 2003, Richard Pringle of Bremerton agreed to pay EDG more than $5,000 for new windows on his home. When his financing was denied, he assumed the contract was void, he stated in a complaint filed with the state Attorney General Dec.9.

EDG took Pringle to court for $1,460 and was unsuccessful in their claim when the judge ruled the contract pended on Pringle’s ability to get financing.

Pringle, along with five other Kitsap residents and former customers of EDG, have filed complaints with the state Attorney General. EDG, owned by Michael and Jean Christiansen of Puyallup, has since had its contractor license canceled due to unpaid insurance.

According to Pierce County documents, the Christiansen’s home is up for public auction due to non-payments totaling more than $14,000.

The Energy Design Group phone number and Web page are no longer connected and calls to the Christiansen home number were answered by a fax machine.

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