TARGET 8: Sedalia construction owner accused of failing to deliver, faces arrest warrant

9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Wednesday, January 04 2017 Jan 4, 2017 Wednesday, January 04, 2017 4:52:00 PM CST January 04, 2017 in Target 8
By: Emma Balkenbush, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

SEDALIA - Jason Johnson said he hired Brad Kern, the owner of Bestway Home Improvement, in June 2016 to build a shop for his property. He said only about a third of the work was completed after two months and was not done correctly. 

"The whole time he was out here working I was always questioning what he was doing," Johnson said. "He wasn't doing anything right, so I would ask him about it and he would do it somewhat right."

He told KOMU 8 News the majority of the work done by Kern was not done properly and took more time than it should have. 

"I would come out here, and most of the time he was always sitting in the chair on break and I hardly ever saw him doing anything," Johnson said. 

Johnson said he paid a $9,000 down payment at the beginning of the work and signed a contract that stated the total payment would be $30,000. He said the first red flag came soon after Kern started the work. 

"When they got the forms put up and the gravel spread, and they didn't even have a footer or a thickened edge or anything dug out," Johnson said. 

Johnson said after many attempts to get his money back from Kern, he reached out to the Sheriff's office. 

There is an active warrant to arrest Brad Kern, the owner of Bestway Home Improvements. The warrant was issued on Dec. 27, 2016, and the probable cause statement from the Pettis County Sheriff's office stated: 

"A proposal/contract was put together by Mr. Kern on May 20, 2016 and signed by both parties. Mr. Johnson also stated he wrote out a check #756 for $9,000.00 on June 20, 2016 to Mr. Kern for supplies/labor and would begin the work today. According to Mr. Johnson, Mr. Kern had done little or poor work on the property and Mr. Johnson was becoming concerned and displeased."

Johnson said another red flag was when he realized Kern did not have all the tools he needed for the job and had to borrow some from neighbors. 

Johnson said when he told Kern about his concerns with the work, Kern said it was fine. Johnson eventually told Kern he no longer wanted him to work on the project. He said he tried to call Kern multiple times to get his money back but was not able to contact him and went to his house to talk to him. 

After trying multiple times to reach Kern, he told KOMU 8 News Johnson was violent and harassed his family on his property. He said Johnson brought a gun to his house and threatened him. He also said Johnson tried to change things on the contract after Kern had already done some of the work and would not give him some of his tools back. Johnson denied those claims. 

The handwritten contract described the final product to include:

  • 30'X50' cement floor fully rebarred 1/2" smooth finish
  • 10X50 cement floor fully rebarred 1/2" smooth finish
  • 2' knee walls around 30'X50' area with rebar 1/2
  • Materials and labor $9,000
  • 30'X50' metal building 
  • Deposit 1/3=$9,000
  • Total=$30,000

Sedalia City Attorney Anne Gardner said a handwritten contract is better than no contract at all, but it is still a red flag. She said another thing that should be included is a date the work will be finished by, which was not included in Kern's contract with Johnson. 

"It needs to say this is how long it's going to take, how much it's going to cost, how much money down," Gardner said. 

After reaching out to city officials, KOMU 8 News discovered Kern was also operating his business without a license. City Administrator Gary Edwards said businesses are required by law to have a license so they city can be aware of who is doing business. 

"They're breaking the law if they are operating without a license," Edwards said. 

He said city officials will step in now that they have realized Kern has been doing business without one. 

"For this particular case, our research has indicated that this person has not gotten a license, so it's something we will pursue," Edwards said. 

He said research showed Kern never actually applied for a license. 

The Missouri Attorney General's office is also in the process of reaching out to Kern after Johnson filed a complaint.  

Joe Bindbeutel, Chief Counsel of the Consumer Protection Division, said his office receives many complaints similar to Johnson's. 

"Real estate and construction work are in our top ten of complaints every year, last year we received well over 1,000 complaints of this exact nature," Bindbeutel said. 

Bindbeutel was not able to comment on this specific case, but said in most cases, contractors become too busy to keep the promises they have made because they have so many responsibilities. 

Kern declined to speak with KOMU 8 a second time and said in a text message that he has closed down his business. 

"I've closed down Bestway because of my back injury because of Jason Johnson, and since I've last talked to you he has harassed me to no end, even tried to get me to add him and his family members up on Facebook." 

The probable cause statement also stated Johnson received information that suggested Kern would soon be leaving the state. 

"This suggests that Mr. Kern is not intending to complete the work or return any material that he was paid for. Thus depriving Mr. Johnson of the material as well as defrauding Mr. Johnson by not completing the work where he had already received a payment for." 

 

More News

Grid
List
GLASGOW - Chief of Police and City Administrator Kevin Atwood has been suspended with pay for 30 days. This came... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 6:36:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Due to the growing population in Columbia, the city is hoping to keep up with its expenditures with... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 5:23:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
FT. LEONARD WOOD - A program that brought more than 150 Afghan soldiers to the United States to train currently... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 4:59:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two men, who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in May, were sentenced in federal court Monday.... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 4:04:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – As temperatures begin to cool, it is time for people to prepare their homes for winter. Boone County... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Sheriff's Office is warning of a scam similar to one that has popped up... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 3:05:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
ELLINGTON (AP) — An 86-year-old southeast Missouri man has died, days after a gunman killed his wife. The Missouri... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 2:23:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Two separate crashes on Highway 63 North slowed traffic Monday morning between the Stadium Blvd. and Broadway exits.... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 2:12:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Voters in St. Louis will soon be asked to weigh in on a half-cent sales tax... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 1:32:15 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The outer walkways of the state capitol temporarily turned into a track to raise awareness for sex... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 1:06:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Police are asking the public to help find a teenager who reportedly ran away and may be trying... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 12:50:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The average American adult spends 2 hours, 51 minutes on their smartphone every day, according to comScore’s 2017... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 12:49:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department reports it has received 655 calls of car burglaries in 2017. That is 207 more... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 11:56:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Human Rights Campaign annually releases an evaluation of municipalities across the country rating their effectiveness in... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 11:54:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia police officers' union criticized City Manager Mike Matthes' office Monday for testifying on behalf of a... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 10:48:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A report obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers insight into why the city's Civil Service... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 10:13:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Sunday afternoon after he allegedly set the porch of a home on fire. ... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 9:52:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a home invasion which happened early Monday morning. Authorities said a... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 58°
8pm 57°
9pm 54°
10pm 52°
11pm 51°