South / Regional Reports

Unlicensed Contractor Arrested, Fined

According to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), as a result of a lengthy investigation, Darryn Butler was found to be in contempt of court by a Travis County District Court for continuing to perform air conditioning work without a license.

After his hearing, Butler was arrested by Travis County deputies on an arrest warrant issued by Nueces County. The violations are related to illegal air conditioning work.

"Mr. Butler has a long history of ignoring state regulations and is now paying the price," said William Kuntz, TDLR's executive director. "His day in court is the result of close cooperation between TDLR and the Office of Attorney General, the city of Corpus Christi, and the Nueces County Sheriff's Department."

The finding in contempt of court follows an injunction issued against Butler on Dec. 3, 2002, ordering him to stop working as an air conditioning contractor without a license. TDLR presented evidence that Butler had violated the injunction on 20 separate occasions. The agency said he has never held a state-issued air conditioning contractor license. Judge Lora Livingston fined him $10,000 and sentenced him to 60 days in jail. Judge Livingston suspended the jail sentence, but she admonished Butler that one violation would land him in jail.

"Unlicensed air conditioning contractors pose a significant safety threat to consumers," Kuntz said. "An unlicensed contractor may not be competent to install or service equipment and often lacks insurance coverage."

Butler's arrest stems from alleged violations of the terms of his probation he was placed under in lieu of serving a two-year sentence in Nueces County. The original sentence was for criminal activity related to air conditioning work.

Publication date: 11/01/2004

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