Contractor disappears before finishing West Knoxville woman's po

Contractor disappears before finishing West Knoxville woman's pool

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A mother of three in West Knoxville is frustrated with her contractor, saying the pool builder who started on her job quit after getting a bundle of money. A mother of three in West Knoxville is frustrated with her contractor, saying the pool builder who started on her job quit after getting a bundle of money.
"So far I've given him $17,000. The total price of the pool is almost twice that," said Nikki Scott, meaning she's paid for nearly half of the pool's final cost upfront. "So far I've given him $17,000. The total price of the pool is almost twice that," said Nikki Scott, meaning she's paid for nearly half of the pool's final cost upfront.
Contactor Michael Fitton was arrested in November 2013. Blount County deputies picked him up for violating probation and community control on a charge in Florida. Contactor Michael Fitton was arrested in November 2013. Blount County deputies picked him up for violating probation and community control on a charge in Florida.
No one answered the door at his home, for which Fitton apparently gives the address as his business location.  We did not enter his garage, which was open, but we did see work clothes and boots on the floor. No one answered the door at his home, for which Fitton apparently gives the address as his business location. We did not enter his garage, which was open, but we did see work clothes and boots on the floor.
By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It's that time of the year when pool contractors are busy either planning backyard swimming pools for families or building them.

A mother of three in West Knoxville is frustrated with her contractor, saying the pool builder who started on her job quit after getting a bundle of money.

Nikki Scott is having a fence installed around her home in West Knoxville earlier than expected. She wants the builders to get it up quickly because    construction on her large backyard pool that started in late March stopped and the contractor has disappeared

"I have seen him three days since I gave him almost $17,000," said Scott.       

Based on a recommendation, she hired Sundance Pools and Spas out of Maryville to build an 18 feet wide, 36 feet long, and 8 feet deep gunite pool, plus install a deck around it. Scott's bill was $34,700.

"So far I've given him $17,000. The total price of the pool is almost twice that," said Scott, meaning she's paid for nearly half of the pool's final cost upfront.

The owner and operator of Sundance Pools, the man Scott paid, is Michael Fitton. His friends know him as "Butch."

"I can't get a hold of him. No one can get a hold of him," said Scott.

The last text message from Fitton came May 5 when he suggested he'll be back to work. Scott says she hasn't heard from him since. Scott says she's gone to Fitton's place of business, but can't find him, nor can she reach him on the phone.

6 On Your Side tried to reach Fitton on the phone as well, but all we could reach was a recorded message saying his voice mailbox was full.

"Once i started looking into him, he has a [police] record from here to Florida, for sure," said Scott.

Fitton was arrested in November 2013. Blount County deputies picked him up for violating probation and community control on a charge in Florida.    

We went looking for Fitton, wanting to ask him when he will resume working on Scott's pool.

No one answered the door at his home, for which Fitton apparently gives the address as his business location.

We did not enter his garage, which was open, but we did see work clothes and boots on the floor. Propped up against a wall was a display showing pools, apparently for potential clients.

A neighbor told us he's heard of Fitton, but says he's like a stranger.

"Never saw him. Never saw him. All I know is he had something to do with building pools, then he put a pool in the backyard," said Brian McDougal.

With so much money paid in advance, Scott says she can't afford to cancel the contract, but already a wall has collapsed and she's left with a raw deal.

"I don't understand how people do that to other people," she said. 

She expects Fitton to finish his work since the contract he signed says only war or an act of God shall delay or stop work on the pool.
   
"First and foremost, I just don't want someone else to be like I am right now," said Scott, that situation being stuck with an unfinished pool, $17,000 sunk in the job, and a missing contractor.

She has notified investigators about Fitton.

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