Unlicensed contractor faces city charges

The city of Minneapolis has filed charges against Dennis P. Buzanis, 50 of St. Paul for working as a contractor without a license and for violating a state Cease and Desist order, said Steve Heng, city attorney.

Buzanis contracted to build a 10-foot-by-14-foot addition to Sandra Nelson's East Isles home and told Nelson he was a licensed contractor, but did not, the complaint said. Nelson's story was featured in the Southwest Journal's April 3-16 issue.

The state had issued a Cease and Desist order against Buzanis in January 1997, prohibiting him from working as a resident building contractor, roofer or remodeler.

Buzanis had signed a consent agreement agreeing not to work as a contractor, according to state records.

Buzanis was to finish the job by Oct. 31. Nelson said she fired Buzanis in January because of delays. She paid him $36,200 of the $52,315 contract, the complaint said.

Buzanis said he didn't finish the work on time because of a series of deaths of family and friends. He said he never told Nelson he was a licensed contractor, just a contractor.

Buzanis said the Journal's story did him an injustice. For instance, he said the photo of construction debris in Nelson's back yard was not debris he left. Nelson said she hired another contractor to rip out unsatisfactory work Buzanis had done in her home, and that contractor created the debris pile.

Buzanis said he would file for bankruptcy and Nelson would not get a penny.

"I am going to close my doors. I'm done," he said.

Violating a Cease and Desist order is a gross misdemeanor. It carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $30,000. Working without a contractor's license is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.