An East Tennessee paving contractor is in jail in Sullivan County after a felony conviction two years ago. Frank Small has been fighting to have his conviction overturned since 2016, but the state’s highest court had the final word. The Tennessee Supreme Court denied Small’s application to appeal his case.

Small’s paving company in Knoxville has been in business for several years. However, seven years ago, he operated a business in Kingsport. Court records say he quoted a price of $18 to an elderly man but charged him more than $6,000.

Small turned himself in after the state Supreme Court decided not to consider his robbery and fraud conviction. The case started in Kingsport where Bruce Beverly said his late Joe Beverly was scammed by Small in 2011. At the time, Joe Beverly was 79.  Seven years ago, Frank Small operated Triangle Paving in the Tri-Cities area.  

“He wanted a three feet section. Right here along the road. So, we are looking at, right here, three feet stripped,” said Bruce Beverly, explaining that his dad expected the cost would only be $18 – it soared to $6,500.

Small, who didn’t know Joe Beverly, approached him while he was sitting in his truck. 

“He says, ‘Well I’ve got some leftover asphalt. It’s normally $18 a foot. I’ll give it to you for a discount at $6 dollars a foot,'” said Bruce Beverly.

Eighteen dollars was the quote to patch a little piece of driveway near the road, but the whole drive was paved for more than $6,000 without any approval.

“When he came back out, Frank Small got in his face, about one foot away. ‘It’s on the ground, I want my money now.’ My dad said I have a home equity line of credit. There is $6,600 on it. Frank Small says how about making a check out for $6,500?” said Bruce Beverly.

After years of delay, a Sullivan County jury found Small guilty of robbery and home improvement fraud. He was sentenced to five years, but he appealed. In February 2018, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals rejected Small’s argument to have his conviction overturned.

However, Small fought on. Then last month, he lost his fight when the Tennessee Supreme Court denied an application to hear his case. The high court ordered Sullivan County to carry out its judgment against Small – five years in jail.

For the last several years, Small has operated R&D paving on Rutledge Pike in Knoxville. Before turning himself in, WATE 6 On Your Side wanted to talk with him. However, Small’s office was locked.  

There is plenty of paving equipment on his property. R&D has been busy the past few years. 

Small paved a driveway in Grainger County in May 2017, while fighting his felony conviction in Sullivan County. However, Small’s manner of doing business apparently had not changed.

“I have finished a big job and I have a truckload left over and I can bring it out today,” said the homeowner, describing what Small had told him.

The homeowner, who wanted to remain anonymous, said Small told him he would return to repair the shoddy work. Small’s contract claims his workmanship is guaranteed. Despite promises, the homeowner said Small has never returned. 

When WATE 6 On Your Side checked the contract written by Frank Small, the original price for the Grainger County driveway nearly doubled when finished.   

Joseph Harris’ rocky driveway in Seymour was supposed to have had blacktop on it. Frank Small’s R & D Asphalt did the job. Harris said his driveway was never finished and he received two contracts. 

he original written price was $13,500, signed by Small, but as the second contract shows, once the job was done, Small charged the Harrises $18,000

Until Small is assigned to state prison to begin serving his five-year sentence, he will remain in the Sullivan County jail.

Small has accumulated an extensive record in both Tennessee and West Virginia. He’s been named as a suspect in several paving scams and convicted not only in Kingsport but in Mercer County, West Virginia, as well.

When considering a paving contractor, be wary if someone knocks on your door saying they have leftover asphalt and can do the job cheap. Never pay the full amount in advance and make sure everything is in writing and signed, in case it has to be used as evidence.

There’s also a case against Small coming up soon in Knox County.