Contractor leaves workers without paychecks

Contractor leaves workers without paychecks weeks before Christmas

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Last week, two of his employees confronted Reischman, demanding some answers. Last week, two of his employees confronted Reischman, demanding some answers.
Since September, Reischman's workers have been repairing the stucco at Windswept, a condominium complex in Gatlinburg. Since September, Reischman's workers have been repairing the stucco at Windswept, a condominium complex in Gatlinburg.
"He told me it was construction and there was no guarantee in construction that you would get paid. He really didn't care if my kids got cold. He really didn't care if my kids didn't eat," David Blalock's (left) wife Samantha said. "He told me it was construction and there was no guarantee in construction that you would get paid. He really didn't care if my kids got cold. He really didn't care if my kids didn't eat," David Blalock's (left) wife Samantha said.
"He's messing with people's lives. I have three kids. I have to tell them, 'Daddy is not going to be able to get you Christmas like you wanted,'" employee Michael Johnson said. "He's messing with people's lives. I have three kids. I have to tell them, 'Daddy is not going to be able to get you Christmas like you wanted,'" employee Michael Johnson said.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

GATLINBURG (WATE) - When you do an honest day's work, you expect to be paid.

But four employees of a stucco contractor have been without a paycheck that would have helped pay for their kids' Christmas gifts.

The contractor's name is Brian Reischman who we met nearly two years ago when he operated a now defunct medical clinic, Direct Care.

Before it closed, his patients, who paid a monthly fee, were left without care.

Last year, Reischman had not paid employees and had numerous unpaid bills, including unpaid rent on his office and home.

Last week, two of his employees confronted Reischman, demanding some answers.

Now he's doing the same at his latest venture, a commercial stucco company. Again he's not paying his employees.

Using an undercover camera, they agreed to let us put a microphone on them.

"That's our biggest concern right now, dude. We haven't been paid in like a month," said employee David Blalock to Reischman.

"All I can tell you is the truth, like I always have," Reischman replied. "We're not going to get paid off the Windswept job until we're done."

Since September, Reischman's workers have been repairing the stucco at Windswept, a condominium complex in Gatlinburg.

The condo's manager confirms to Six on Your Side that to date Reischman has been paid more than $70,000 and more work remains.

Reischman claims he gave the condo development a deadline several weeks ago either to pay him or his men walk.

"The ultimatum was we can't come back without money. If you pay and catch us up, we will come back and finish. The decision is yours," Reischman said.

He said the development owed him a huge dividend.

Reischman operates Commercial Stucco Systems (CSS). The business has no relation to CSS Construction, LLC, a residential construction company based in Corryton.

Commercial Stucco Systems' website claims that since 1989 it's been a one-stop location for general contractors.

Its location is a Post Office drop at a UPS Store in West Knoxville. A computer check shows the company is not licensed, either with the state or the county.

David Blalock has been working for CSS as a supervisor since September. He showed us work schedules for the condo contract.

"I have Tee, Mike, myself and Andrew who have been turned upside down by all this," he said.

We tried to get some answers from Reischman last week, but when we asked why he hadn't paid employees, he called them "thieves" before asking us to leave.

A year ago, Reischman avoided our questions about his unhappy customers and employees who hadn't been paid by Direct Care, a medical clinic that didn't have a doctor. Reischman opened it in early 2011, leaving behind a pile of debts.

Now this year, there are more unpaid workers with another one of his companies.

John Tilson said he stopped receiving money about a month ago.

"He just kept coming up with excuses saying he didn't have it," Tilson said.

"He's messing with people's lives. I have three kids. I have to tell them, 'Daddy is not going to be able to get you Christmas like you wanted,'" employee Michael Johnson said.

Reischman admitted he's withheld money from his stucco workers as he spoke to the condo's property manager, who asked that we not reveal his identity.

For now, the job at condo is on hold and Reischman's workers are without paychecks.

He spoke to David Blalock's wife last week.

"He told me it was construction and there was no guarantee in construction that you would get paid. He really didn't care if my kids got cold. He really didn't care if my kids didn't eat," Samantha Blalock said.

Reischman has opened and closed five companies in Knoxville over the last decade.

The state labor department is investigating his latest venture, Commercial Stucco Systems, and the money he owes his employees.


If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email ddare@wate.com.

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