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State sues Bergen contractors for shoddy chimney, roof, gutter work

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: State authorities have expanded their lawsuits against a group of home improvement companies to include Bergen County contractors A Safeway Construction for shoddy or undone roof and chimney repairs and gutter cleaning.

The Office of the Attorney General and State Division of Consumer Affairs amended an original suit filed last summer to include A Safeway Construction, Inc., A Safeway Improvements, Inc. and A Safeway Construction, LLC, (who advertise themselves in New Jersey as “Safeway”) for allegedly committing multiple violations of the Consumer Fraud Act and related statutes and regulations.

The move comes as part of ongoing legal action by the state against AAA Reliable, Inc. and others.

The State filed the initial complaint in July 2012 against AAA Reliable, Inc. and Old Reliable Construction, LLC, two other Bergen County home improvement contractors, and Sulejman Lita, the companies’ owner.

Lita, 35, of North Haledon, had business addresses in Fair Lawn, Franklin Lakes, North Haledon and Totowa, state authorities said.

Last August, the Division of Consumer Affairs obtained court orders that continue to bar AAA Reliable and Old Reliable Construction from advertising, selling and/or performing home improvements.

Two weeks ago, a judge granted the state’s request to add A Safeway companies and Liman Lita, who is believed to be a relative of Sulejman Lita, as defendant.

Liman Lita “controlled the day-to-day operations of AAA Reliable, and was Old Reliable Construction’s managing member,” State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said this afternoon.

“A Safeway companies have been used interchangeably in the advertisement, sale and performance of home improvements … through mailings and ciriculars in New Jersey,” he said, “and are related to AAA Reliable and its principals.”

Like AAA, A Safeway companies “either did not perform contracted-for chimney work or did substandard chimney work that created potentially hazardous conditions that did not previously exist,” Chiesa said.

The lawsuit also accuses the A Safeway companies of doing substandard roofing repairs and gutter cleaning and then refusing to remedy the problem.

“Home improvement and repair scams were a priority for us before Hurricane Sandy slammed New Jersey, and the Division remains vigilant in protecting consumers in need of home repairs,” said Eric T. Kanefsky, acting director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. “These defendants will find that any attempt to circumvent the law and/or any Court ruling is a losing game.”

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