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Kitchen remodeler under investigation

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ATLANTA -

Police are now investigating a contractor who was the center of an I-Team investigation.  He's a remodeler who calls himself "the elite of elite of Atlanta contractors" – Sam Gasaway.

But, as the I-Team's Dana Fowle found out, some of his customers use other words to describe Gasaway, who they say ran off with their money without doing the work.

After an I-Team story on Gasaway first aired, calls came in from other people giving very similar accounts. They'd pay him to re-do their kitchen, but in the end they couldn't get their money back or the job done. The Dawson County Sheriff's Office has been alerted, and they want to know more about the contractor.

"If I have to, I will sue him without hesitation. I don't make idle threats," said Marian McDonald.

McDonald followed through, and she filed suit against her kitchen remodeler Gasaway. Then, she marched over to the Dawson County Sheriff's office and filed a police report.  

She showed the I-Team her December 2011 contract with Gasaway to upgrade her kitchen. In her complaint to police, she says she paid him thousands of dollars, but all that he did was leave a mess.

When Gasaway heard the I-Team was investigating, McDonald says he made another promise: The work would be completed in July.  Again, it wasn't. He's now part of a police investigation into how he does business. An investigator says they are taking the case very seriously.

Faye Standridge says she fell for Gasaway's Christian charm. A support beam wasn't enough to hold up the cabinets in her historic 1800's farmhouse, so she hired Gasaway to update the kitchen.

"Well, he seemed like he was a church-going man that was honest and he was really friendly, in fact, we gave him vegetables from the garden.  I know that's funny, but still," said Standridge.

She claims in her civil suit that he took $2,600 for a down payment, then nothing.

"I kept calling and calling, and I think I didn't hear from him in a couple of months," said Standridge.

"Normally, this will take three to four weeks. If we go ahead and make a deal today, for example, we have it in the schedule we could be here in three to four week's time," said Gasaway in the previous I-Team report.

Standridge says he did show up eventually, but he wanted more money for granite countertops. She just wanted laminate.  He left again, she says, without doing any work, so she sued.  

She made a mistake others trying to sue Sam Gasaway have made. His mailing address is Duluth, so they sue in Gwinnett County. Gasaway is in Fulton County, so lawsuits have been re-filed or transferred.  Finally, Standridge got her contractor to show up. Right before court began, he returned her money, and she says she dropped the suit.

The I-Team tried to talk to Gasaway about complaints that he is easy to hire, but hard to get to work.

"Let me, uh, let me, uh, get back to you a little later if I can," said Sam Gasaway.

Now, Gasaway doesn't want to answer questions from the I-Team and customers like Marian McDonald are left to clean up his mess. McDonald says a police investigator went to her home to find out more about her case with Mr. Gasaway on Monday.

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