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Thousands Of Dollars Paid For Unfinished Business

SWOYERSVILLE — There is also an arrest warrant out for a man police say left some unfinished business at a home in Luzerne County.

They accuse him of taking thousands of dollars to fix a property in Swoyersville that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy but never completing the work.

Imagine having a hole the length of a car in the ceiling above your bed. That’s exactly what happened to Anne Haughwout of Swoyersville.

In November, she gave $4,000 to Lemire Brown of Albrightsville in Carbon County. He was supposed to fix a leak in her roof.

“He tore the roof off, repaired a little piece by the chimney, tarped it and then left it,” Haughwout said.

Haughwout says the tarp did nothing to protect her roof which had been damaged during Hurricane Sandy. She said the hole formed in her bedroom in February. Since then, she hasn’t even been able to sleep there because it won’t stop leaking.

“Depending on how hard the rain is, you can’t sleep because you hear the drips.”

Buckets now line the floor of her room, collecting dirty roof water. She thinks the roof has mold.

Swoyersville police say they told Brown to fix the roof by June 8 but he never did it. So police put out a warrant for his arrest.

According to the warrant, Brown told police he shouldn’t have taken the job and that he was too busy with other jobs lined up.

When troopers went to his address in Albrightsville this week, they found the place in foreclosure.

“Maybe he’s getting out of bankruptcy or filed for bankruptcy. He’s using this job possibly to get on his feet,” said Patrolman Michael Blessing, Swoyersville Police.

Brown told officers he would not turn himself in. Now, police are trying to locate him.

Meanwhile Haughwout’s roof just keeps dripping

“It kind of makes me feel like my house is kind of scummy, like I’m not trying to take care of it.”

A few months ago, Haughwout got a new estimate on what it cost to fix her roof now that it’s partially caved in. That contractor told her it would be $9,000.

She says the hole has gotten even bigger since then, so it would likely cost even more than that.


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