SOUTH AMBOY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The recovery from Superstorm Sandy has, for too many, never really happened.
Now, a New Jersey woman claims she’s been taken for just about everything by one particular contractor.
And as CBS2’s Steve Langford reported, she’s not the only one.
A few hundred yards from Raritan Bay, is the home that’s been in Mary Lou Mickiewicz’s family for 60 years, it’s the home that got hammered by Superstorm Sandy, and it’s the home that’s now at the center of a nightmarish contractor dispute.
“Unfortunately I gave him the money. I wasn’t thinking very well. I gave him about $137,000,” Mary Lou said.
Mickiewicz, a 61-year-old woman who struggles with a neurological disorder, said she handed most of her Sandy recovery money to contractor Rick Woodard of Wildwood Builders Inc.
“He was supposed to raise the house, uh I think it was about 8-feet,” she said.
The elevation job never happened, and Rick Woodard disappeared last year. Mickiewicz said he stopped returning her calls.
CBS2 tracked him down at his office in Florida.
He claims the work is complete, but wouldn’t agree to go on air. He denied getting over $100,000 from Mickiewicz and said he’s no longer in business.
The state of Florida’s Division of Corporations lists Wildwood Builders as an active entity, and shows Woodard’s name as the registered agent.
In New Jersey, the Department of Consumer Affairs reported seven complaints against Wildwood Builders since last year.
The Mercer County prosecutor said it has a criminal complaint against Rick Woodard for theft by deception on a home construction deal.
Mickiewicz said she could lose everything.
“If I don’t get the house completed with their money, they take the house,” she said.
CBS2 called the Florida phone number listed for Wildwood Builders, the person who answered the phone said the company was out of business and hung up.