Brooklyn pub owner leaves carpenter out thousands

BySteve J. Livingstone WABC logo
Monday, January 29, 2018
Brooklyn pub owner leaves carpenter out thousands
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7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda has the story of a carpenter owed thousands by his employer.

CARROLL GARDENS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A pub owner has left one Brooklyn carpenter crying in his beer after he worked for weeks, remodeling and building the interior of her Brooklyn watering hole, then was frustrated after the owner didn't pay him thousands owed.

We felt his frustration, spending weeks calling, emailing, and texting her without hearing back. That's why we paid her a visit.

Nina Pineda: "Christine, I'm Nina Pineda from Eyewitness News. I wanted to ask you about the money you owe David Mitri and the judgment he has against you."

Christine Iu is a tough person to pin down. Just ask Dave Mitri.

The Brooklyn craftsman and father of two takes great pride in his work but says he's reduced to chasing this client down for nearly 4 grand she owes him for work he did at her Brooklyn gin joint, Toby's Public House.

"I'm pretty frustrated. After eight months, (waiting)," chafes Mitri.

Last winter, Christine Iu hired Mitri to put up wainscoting, build wood banquets, benches. He even re-painted the outside. "I really nailed this job, I felt," recalls the carpenter.

But when it came time to nailing the final payment, about $3,700 on a $15,000 job, Mitri says he couldn't collect.

"It was like continually kicking the can down the road," recalls Mitri. "I'll pay you two months from now. I'll pay you on this date. That day would come and she doesn't have the money."

Late last year Dave hired a lawyer, taking the bar owner to court and winning a judgment for $3,750. But she still hasn't made good on her IOU.

Nina Pineda caught Christine outside her bar: "Christine, this is a judgment that you owe him. You have to pay him."

She sped off in her SUV but 7 On Your Side found she has three New York tax warrants entered against her for more than $21,000. Her business, which listed her a chairman, had warrants and federal tax liens filed against it totaling $31,000.

"It comes to a point where I just want to get paid," said the wage weary contractor.

We agree, so after waiting all morning, we finally came face to face with Christine Iu.

"This is a Brooklyn dad who did work for you," said 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda. "He did the bar's carpentry - he did the painting?"

Christine said, "He's getting paid."

Nina said: "But why hasn't he gotten paid? It's been almost a year. Why do you keep texting him and saying you can't pay him. Doesn't he deserve to take care of his family?"

After we left Christine finally got word to Dave that her short-lived bar business is now closed, she's in the middle of selling it.

We spoke to her attorney overseeing the sale and he told us once the transaction goes through, everyone who's owed will be paid.

But he couldn't give us a timeline on when that might happen. But Dave's taking additional legal steps to try to get his money. We'll keep you posted on the outcome.



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