Action Report: Picayune contractor abandons two homeowners

PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - Chris and Dorothy Abram had to gut their home in Picayune. Hurricane Isaac dumped about four feet of water inside. They say they hired contractor Tony Pervail to rebuild the inside.

"He told me that he would do my work," Dorothy Abram said. "The insurance company paid him $25,000 so far."

The Abrams moved into an apartment with five children while Pervail worked on their home. That was in September. But they say Pervail quit working on their house about four months later. They said they are now on the verge of losing their home.

"I'm behind on my mortgage because I'm trying to pay rent to live somewhere else, because I have to have somewhere to stay," Abram admitted. "And when I have called Mr. Tony, he will not answer my call. He will not return my call. He has not been here in over seven month."

A tearful Dorothy said it has not been easy.

"Some of them sleep on the couch. And my husband had a heart attack and back surgery, and sometimes we don't want the kids to sleep on the floor. And I just want Mr. Tony to do... is just come fix my home for me and my kids, my grandkids comeback home. [Crying] I just want to be able to come back home."

I contacted contractor Tony Pervail on his cell phone. I asked him if he was still in business and he told me he was looking for work.

"This is AJ Giardina with WLOX-TV," I told him. "You said you're looking for work to do? Well, you've got work over here in Picayune that you left about seven or eight months ago."

I wanted to know if he was going to come back and finish the job. Pervail refused to talk to me and hung up.

Pervail also started remodeling the home of Ronald McDougall after Hurricane Isaac. He lives a block away from the Abrams. McDougall said he, too, had to pay a house note and rent on an apartment. McDougall says he gave Pervail $17,000 and finally quit giving him money because he said Pervail wouldn't complete the job, so he had to hire other people.

While I was interviewing McDougall, Pervail called my cell phone and he put the blame on McDougall and the Abrams. McDougall responded.

"Nobody is throwing you under the school bus, Tony," McDougall told Pervail. "You told me several times that you'd be over to finish the job. You'll be over to talk to me. You never came to talk to me like a man. And you know that I paid you and your money was available when you needed it."

Pervail yelled and told both the Abrams and McDougall to finish the homes themselves. Both the Abrams and McDougall have filed a complaint with the Mississippi State Board of Contractors and have sent all their paperwork to Jackson.

I reached out to the Mississippi Board of Contractors and a board member confirmed they are investigating. They have set a hearing for October 8th in Jackson and will send a certified letter to Pervail to appear. He could face a fine of up to $10,000.

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