INDIANAPOLIS — A state panel took formal disciplinary action Wednesday against an Indianapolis plumber accused of taking money from customers and not doing the work promised.
WRTV Investigates has been digging into Jonathan Kirby’s business practices for more than a year.
Customers told WRTV they paid Kirby to do work on their home but he either didn’t finish or only did half the job and failed to provide refunds.
The Indiana Plumbing Commission met virtually Wednesday morning to consider a complaint filed by the Indiana Attorney General — alleging eight counts of fraud, deception, misconduct and violations of Indiana law.
Kirby did not attend the hearing.
"The state is here to protect the public from the activity the respondent has engaged in,” Deputy Attorney General Kelsey Miller said. “We've presented you evidence from four different individuals who all suffered a financial loss when the respondent used his professional license to engage in material deception.”
The Indiana Plumbing Commission voted unanimously to find Kirby guilty on all eight counts.
They revoked his expired plumbing licensed, fined Kirby $8,000 and ordered him to pay $2,887 to the four consumers listed in the complaint.
Kirby can’t get another Indiana plumbing license for seven years.
Commission member and plumber William Ciriello called it one of the worst cases he’s ever seen.
“I think this is the most severe penalty I've seen at a commission meeting and I've been on the commission a long time,” Ciriello said at the meeting.
WRTV Investigates reached out to Kirby via email on Wednesday.
“I am attempting to make amends with people,” Kirby wrote in an email to WRTV. “I have recently paid a few people. And I am in the process of speaking to others and attempting to make amends with him as well.”
TIPS FOR HIRING A CONTRACTOR:
- Get estimates in writing
- Check for criminal charges or civil suits here
- Check for a contractor’s license with the state and city
- Do an internet search of their name for news articles and reviews
- Ask for references and call them
- Ask to see examples of their work
- Ask about insurance: personal liability, worker’s comp, and property damage coverage
- Pay wisely, not all upfront