Elkhorn woman looks for answers after unlicensed contractor doesn’t finish job

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 6:24 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - After cleanup for a broken water pipe an Elkhorn senior citizen is left high and dry by a remodeling contractor.

She remembers popular words from the 1960′s but 79-year-old Sharon French doesn’t like that her new basement walls are groovy.

She paid $4,700 or three fourths down for walls and flooring, but contractor James Blann left much of the project unfinished.

“It isn’t easy for a 79-year-old lady to go chasing up and down the steps to go to the bathroom when there’s a bathroom down here and it’s not usable because he took off the damn foundation,” said French.

But no permit has been pulled and the city says James Blann is not a licensed contractor.

Sharon says it has been a month since the contractor promised to come back and smooth out the drywall and paint. But she’s had a rough time getting ahold of him since.

Without returned phone calls Sharon worries the money she paid the contractor won’t be returned.

French said, “I’m a widow for 16 years and I know my husband would be very upset that I fell for this dumb thing you know.”

Sharon used most of an insurance settlement to pay for what she got so now with her own money she must hire another contractor to finish the job.

They’ll have to prove to me that they’re a legitimate contractor or a fixer-upper," said French.

An Omaha Police fraud detective is investigating Sharon’s complaint against the contractor. James Blann has not returned our voice message or texts. The business name he used is also the same as an unrelated construction company, so we won’t name it to avoid confusion.

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