Client, former employee warn of local construction company

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 7:06 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A client and former employee say the man who runs a local construction company insists on payments, delays projects, and sometimes doesn’t even finish them.

“He must be stopped,” said Diamond Ridge Construction Company Client Doresa Green. “He must be stopped.”

Doresa Green says the man she hired to build her a sunroom never came through and now he refuses to give her her money back.

She signed a contract with Diamond Ridge Construction back in August of 2022.

But she says red flags started popping up when work finally began in November, so she called the city of Cleveland to check the status of the work permit for her project.

“They said Ms. Green, the permit has not been approved and they dug up your yard illegally,” said Green.

According to Independent Subcontractor Rocky Frum, who worked for Diamond Ridge Construction, building without an approved permit happened regularly.

“They always told the customer we were pulling the permit and things like that so this way we could charge them for it, but ultimately if nobody asked any questions, they wouldn’t bring an inspector in,” said Frum.

Other issues, According to Green, included Diamond Ridge Construction submitting blueprints with doors and windows in the wrong places.

At that point, she asked for her money back, and for the contract to be anulled.

But that didn’t happen.

Now, Green is out $18,000, with only a dug-up yard to show for it.

Frum says some of these issues, like delayed, or incomplete work, was the standard at Diamond Ridge.

“We weren’t finishing jobs,” said Frum. “We weren’t getting to the next stage. Anything that we would promise people would only take a couple weeks, four months later, we would go out and do phase two of like a nine phase project.”

Some pretty serious allegations, so we decided to go to Diamond Ridge Construction’s office, and see what they had to say.

We spoke with Brian Stepp, the man Green said she mostly worked with.

He wouldn’t go on camera, but insisted the company played everything by the book, and requested more money after the excavation because that’s what the contract stated.

As for the delay in the project, he attributed that to Green, who he says changed what she wanted in the blueprints.

But these aren’t the first allegations made against Stepp.

In fact, in a lawsuit brought against Stepp by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in 2021, he and another defendant were ordered to pay $100,000 in damages after the judge says they violated the Consumer Sales Practices Act.

As for Green, she says the damage is done, but she has a message for others.

“If there are others out there, which I know there are, please come forward.”

Stepp denied owning Ashley Contractors, the business shut down by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.