Action Report: Four workers did 8 days of framing footers and were paid $560

Action Report: Four workers did 8 days of framing footers and were paid $560

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Kelvin White and his three sons, Kendall, Jacoby and Kelvin, Jr, say they did a job for contractor Frank DeCoito on a subdivision located off Landon Road in Gulfport.

"I was hired by Mr. Frank to do another man's job that he had done incorrect," Kelvin White said.

They were handed a piece of paper that said they would be paid a total of $2400.

"We stayed working eight days straight and he gave us $300," White said.

I went to the job site and met with the Whites. Frank DeCoito also was on the lot with two new workers.

"This gentleman is willing to complete the job for $2100," said DeCoito.  "He has to do the work they were supposed to do."

Before he was hired, White said he told Mr. DeCoito that he was inexperienced in measuring footers.

"I said, Mr. Frank, I'm not real good at footers. He said, 'I will help you get it right.' He came out here and did square the footing. I did put the wood where he wanted the wood at. I did that."

Did Mr. Frank DeCoito do the measuring of the footers? DeCoito said, "I helped them lay it out, but they didn't even have a 100-foot tape."

I asked DeCoito if he was the one who supplied the 100-foot tape for the Whites?

"I had a 100-foot tape," stated DeCoito. "He was holding the tape wrong.  So I brought my guy out here to re-square it up."

I said, "Did you come out here and say, 'Boy, this isn't right'?"

DeCoito cried out, "Yes, the first day."

My reply was, "So why did you keep them on the job if that's the case?"

DeCoito said, "They were begging me, begging me for work."

I said, "Begging you? But don't you want to have this done right?"

DeCoito said, "I do, but you don't want to run somebody off for one time for somebody making a mistake, okay? You try to help them correct it."

DeCoito pointed out a section of the framing he said the Whites did wrong. I asked Mr. Frank if the Whites did that or was that already done before the Whites were hired?

"Well, they got a piece added on the other side, I don't know, "DeCoito stated.  "I'll be honest with you, I don't know."

When I asked DeCoito if the Whites were doing the job all wrong, why did he have them come back and work eight days?

DeCoito quickly said, "Hey, you know what, you need to get out there on the street! Get off my property."

I said, "You want me off the property?"

DeCoito said, "I do."

Finally, DeCoito sat up in his truck and decided he would give the Whites some money, a little bit more than 10 percent of the $2100 they were still owed.

He said to the Whites, "If you want to come by the office, I'll give you a check for $260."

He slammed the truck door and drove off.

The Whites were paid $560, instead of $2400.

"I'm upset about it because I try to teach my sons how to work and be adults and take care of business as grown men," White said. "I'm just going to pick up the check and call it my losses.  Nothing good is going to come from it."

White has filed a complaint with the Mississippi State Board of Contractors.

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