Consumer Watch: Roofer cries foul against reverend of prominent church

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WHAS11.com

Posted on December 16, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 16 at 7:09 PM

(WHAS11) - This week’s Consumer Watch is another problem between a local roofer and a Louisville homeowner.

But this time it's the roofer crying foul and the man he says refuses to pay is a reverend at a prominent downtown church.

Robert Ashby is a working man.

"I've got a living to make," he says. And James Miller is a preaching man.

"There's an old Chinese proverb says one picture is worth a thousand words," says Miller.

Both have pictures, and both are convinced that the truth is on their side.

Before their relationship soured reverend Miller hired Ashby to fix his roof. Ashby had done two homes just down the street and both homeowners were very pleased. 

Miller didn't want to pay up front for repairs to his storm damaged roof, so they struck a deal through the insurance company.

State Farm wrote the reverend a $9,756 check with half paid to Ashby up front for supplies and the other half due upon completion. The job was finished on November 3rd but Miller isn't paying.

“This is a man who is a reverend, who is a preacher who gets up and preaches to people to be honest and trustworthy," says Ashby.

Miller is the pastor at Lampton Baptist Church on Fourth Street. When WHAS11 News showed up to get his side of the story he called it a gift from heaven.

"He talked to me like I was a country hick with a mother goose mentality. No respect, he showed me no respect," says Miller.

Reverend Miller then pointed out a couple of interior problems State Farm says were part of a different claim.

The reverend also read the job completion form. He showed us some gutters that weren’t replaced and pointed out a part of the attic where he felt more wood should have been replaced.

WHAS11 contacted Reverend Miller’s insurance agent, and here's what he said: The check was cut under the condition that the balance is paid to the roofer when the job is completed. 

That agent tells WHAS11’s Andy Treinen that the contracted job was done. He doesn't understand what the dispute is or why Ashby's not being paid.

Robert Ashby has now placed a lien on the reverend's home and is considering taking legal action.

Both men have secured attorneys.

If you have a consumer problem you'd like WHAS11’s Andy Treinen to look into send an e-mail to consumerwatch@whas11.com.

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