School Closings & Delays

Why is Six-Year-Old Mausoleum Crumbling?

EYNON -- When a cemetery in Lackawanna County decided to build a mausoleum, it turned to a construction company run by the son of former cemetery board members.

Now just six years after it was built, that mausoleum is crumbling, and people who spent thousands of dollars to be interred there say they were ripped off.

Inside the chapel at St. Francis Cemetery in Eynon, the mausoleum vaults almost seem majestic, but upon a closer look, wooden wedges appear to hold up the granite markers. From the outside, the building seems to be falling apart.

"They didn't build this place like a mausoleum. They built it, they said, more like a garage," said Richard Roani of Jermyn.

Roani bought one of the 40 vaults for his wife Mary Ann the day after she died five years ago. He says she wanted to be interred above ground.

"I thought I was doing a good thing. We all did."

"We thought it was beautiful. We thought we were all set," said Mary Caviston of Eynon.

Caviston, Roani, and nearly a dozen others now wonder where their final resting place will be.

"All of a sudden, we were told we cannot be buried here because it's falling down," said Caviston.

Outside the mausoleum, granite chunks are falling on the driveway.

According to a lawsuit filed by the cemetery association, the crumbling mausoleum is the result of "design deficiencies, fraud, and defective (and) faulty materials."

People who bought vaults blame the builder, Sean Smargiassi of Scott Township.

"He did work on our home at one time. We thought he was a friend. We never thought he'd do this and walk away with no remorse whatsoever," Caviston said.

Paperwork shows Smargiassi was paid at least $190,000 in 2010 and 2011 to build the mausoleum that now may have to be torn down.

Newswatch 16 called the listed number on his construction company several times and even showed up at the address in Scott Township that is listed as Smargiassi Construction's address. No one was there, and our phone calls have not been returned.

"I can't imagine a man has a conscience to do this to people, never say he's sorry, never tries to come back and say, 'I'm going to try to rectify the mess I've made,'" said Caviston.

Caviston calls Smargiassi a con man, noting he was just honored for his community service and named the 2016 Man of the Year by the Carbondale Knights of Columbus.

"Man of the year?" Roani asked. "What can I say?"

Roani has his own problem. He wants his nearly $5,000 returned but says Smargiassi won't return his calls either. He wonders how he can honor his late wife when he cannot afford another vault or burial site.

"I really feel badly that I spent all this money for a place that was falling down."

The cemetery association and those who bought vaults at the mausoleum also blame the borough of Archbald for not properly inspecting the work during the building of the mausoleum. However, a judge ruled the borough cannot be sued, and the legal efforts by the two groups will now focus on Smargiassi Construction.

30 comments

  • TOWN OF EYNON

    This is only the beginning for the scumbag , conman , loser , and criminal that is SEAN SMARGIASSI . He will be indicted on a slew of charges including theft , fraud , and forgery . This piece of trash stole thousands along with his scumbag father Al Smargiassi and dirtbag mother “Cookie” Smargiassi . YOU ARE ALL GOING TO JAIL YOU DESPICABLE LOSERS.

  • L

    I wonder if this so called “Contractor” filed taxes on that income he earned?? I wonder what he did with the funds, because unless that thing is made of pure Marble, what costs $190,000.00?? Did he just concrete it and call it a day?? This is sad, everyone has the right to be buried the way they want. The poor lady that’s inside it, I wonder what she thinks..

  • tomtom

    funeral homes inject dead bodies with chloride to save money…corpses rot a lot quicker…doh …that’s why!!!

  • lelani

    What a wanker…I don’t know any good business person or reputable construction company that won’t repair defects – and I worked for a great contractor that spent 5 years repairing minor defects on a major project because they knew how to be responsible business people.

  • tomtom

    oh, he is very popular. the sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads…they all adore him…they think he’s a righteous dude…

  • wapp wapp wapp

    Sean Smarg did a job for me also. I had him install a handicap ramp for my 96 year old Grandmother. The ramp collapsed, my Grandmother overturned and was ejected from her chair and a 2×4 with woodscrews came down on her face and left punctures all about. She was hospitalized for several weeks. This guy is a real scumbag to say the least!

    • JimD

      Sorry to here that happened to your Grandmother
      But, I can Believe it did 100%
      He installed windows that costed me more to heat the place as he did a crappy job
      I had to insulate around them with foam
      He used scraps of wood and he can’t cut straight
      I think the Knights of Columbus should Take that award off him!!!!!

  • James McLeary

    Two years ago I was coming up Farview mountain in Waymart and a piece of wood comes off his truck and damages my car, I call him up to get insurance information and he tells me to go you know where until I tell him I have dashboard video and I’m going to the cops then suddenly he changes his tune. Even then getting the insurance info off of him was like pulling teeth.

    • tomtom

      2 years ago??? geez, I had a bad orange 5 years ago…did you have to swerve to miss a deer??? have another drink, loser…were you blinded by the sun??? grow up…

    • JimD

      Sean Smargiassi is a Dirt bag
      He did Very Poor work on my home years ago
      Never wanted him back
      He has no web site and does not answer calls
      He should NOT show his face in town
      Please WNEP run the News clip many times

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