Gansler says driveway paver misled customers

Bryan Cohen Jul. 10, 2012, 6:21am


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced on Friday that his Consumer Protection Division has issued a final order against an Annapolis-based driveway paver who allegedly misled consumers and lacked required licenses.

The order against Tommy Edward Clack requires that the driveway paver pay at least $284,000 in civil monetary penalties, $204,527 in restitution to consumers and $5,000 in agency expenses.

Clack allegedly preyed on consumers by giving lowball estimates or refusing to provide estimates and then charging the customers thousands to tens of thousands of dollars for paving their driveway. Clack allegedly preyed mostly on senior citizens.

"This significant penalty against Mr. Clack is a victory for all Maryland consumers who were victimized by his unscrupulous tactics," Gansler said. "His method of deceiving customers on the cost of a paving job and doing so without the required licenses is a clear violation of the law. It also reinforces why our office encourages consumers to make sure contractors are licensed before hiring them to do work."

Clark allegedly used the names Tommy Clark, Ed Clack and Ed Crabtree, and operated under the trade names Maryland Asphalt, Maryland Asphalt Paving Company, County Asphalt and Crabtree Paving.

Clack allegedly sold and performed his driveway paving services without the required salesperson and home improvement contractor licenses. He also allegedly violated the Maryland Door-to-Door Sales Act by failing to notify consumers of their right to cancel and ignoring requests to cancel made by consumers.

The CPD's final order contains an injunction that bars Clack from violating state law and requires Clack to immediately cease and desist from selling and offering home improvement services unless he posts a $50,000 bond with the division and obtains the required licenses.

Clack was ordered to reimburse all the money he collected from consumers for the unlicensed driveway paving services he performed and sold. The $204,527 of restitution must be returned to 14 consumers who testified on the charges at a hearing. The $284,000 penalty equals the maximum penalty of $1,000 per violation for each of the 284 days Clack did business in Maryland. In addition, Clack was ordered to pay $5,000 to cover the division's costs.

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