I-TEAM INVESTIGATION: Pool contractor pays $10,000 to victims
Monday, June 25, 2018
News 12 @ 6 O'clock / NBC 26 at 7
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The News 12 I-Team is not backing down from our investigation into a pool of problems with a local pool contractor.
Meredith Anderson: "Do you want to say anything to the victims?"
Earl Chastagner: "No, but you're kind of like an ex-girlfriend. You just can't get enough attention. Aren't you?"
I spoke with Earl Chastagner after he faced a judge again today. He owes multiple people a lot of money.
Meredith Anderson: "I just want to ask you a couple of questions. Are you still building pools?"
Earl Chastagner: "I don't want to answer anything."
Before we get to what happened today, let's rewind to the day almost exactly one month ago when Earl Chastagner and I took a familiar stroll in the Aiken Courthouse.
Chastagner: "I tried to talk to you before. You lost my trust. Alright."
Meredith: "You lied to me. You lied to me. You sent me pictures of happy customers and none of these customers say they were happy."
Chastagner: "You better go back and read the email."
Meredith: "You said, 'I have lots of good customers happy.' I remember the exact phrase."
Chastagner: "We're done."
Meredith:"We'll see you again in June."
Today was that June court hearing.
The stakes were high, but we also learned his payment would be higher than expected today. Last month, we were there as he told the court he brought $5,000 towards his $10,000 payment. Some of that money was supposed to go to Ned Maner. He's one of the victims when a judge convicted Earl on theft charges. Maner and another victim both asked me why they haven't seen that money yet.
Today, we learned Earl never paid it.
Instead of $5,000, Chastanger had to pay $10,000 or face a possible sentence of eight years in jail. Today, his attorney did all the talking, and after settling up, we went for another walk.
Meredith: "Do you want to say anything to the victims?"
Earl: "No, but you're kind of like an ex-girlfriend. You just can't get enough attention. Aren't you?"
Meredith: "I just want to ask you a couple of questions. Are you still building pools?"
Earl: "I don't want to answer anything."
Meredith: "Is there anything you want to say to the victims, though? Should they expect regular payments now?"
Earl: "I think we're all a little bit good."
Meredith: "It's all good?"
Earl: " It's all good."
Earl: 'Talk to you later."
Meredith: "Bye, Earl."
Earl Chastagner will remian on probation until December 2021. He still owes tens of thousands of dollars to a business and Aiken County families who hired him to build their pool.
Remember, this is just for Aiken County. We've uncovered quite a few cases in Columbia County including one where a judge has ordered Chastagner to pay almost $10,000. We've also showed you numerous permit violations in Columbia County where other families say they he left them with an unfinished mess.
Back in Aiken County, Judge Jack Early has reviewed financial documents and has ruled Chastagner is able to pay his restitution. Judge Early says he will be watching closely to make sure this happens. So will our I-Team.
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