TRI-CITIES / NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Leighton ‘Joe’ Wood, owner of former Johnson City Wood Construction and Remodeling, LLC., And his attorneys have waived their right to speak before the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors in an informal hearing convened to respond to allegations that his company has abandoned at least 47 home repair projects in Tennessee.
In light of this, the board decided Tuesday to keep Wood’s license to contract in Tennessee suspended indefinitely, pending a revocation hearing.
Previous investigations on Channel 11 have revealed that clients of the company – ranging from the Tri-Cities area to Middle Tennessee and North Carolina – allege that Wood Construction charged them an illegally large down payment for house projects that ‘they have not completed, or in some cases even started.
Wood and his attorneys initially voluntarily agreed to suspend his Tennessee contractual license on October 27, pending an informal hearing where Wood and his team could respond to clients’ allegations and share their perspective. This hearing was then set for Tuesday, November 30.
It came as dozens of consumer complaints were filed with the Tennessee attorney general’s office against the company.
However, Wood and his attorneys ultimately decided to waive their right to appear before council at Tuesday’s hearing in Nashville. Attorney Christopher Rogers told News Channel 11 it’s because, since their agreement to suspend Wood’s license on October 27, a criminal investigation has been opened by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Rogers said that since the investigation is ongoing by the TBI and criminal charges are possible, his client has the right not to incriminate himself. The legal team advised Wood not to appear before the board at Tuesday’s hearing in light of the BIT’s involvement. They agreed with the Board’s legal representatives that Wood’s license would remain suspended.
News Channel 11 has requested a full statement from Wood’s legal team and will provide updates as they are received.
“His license is suspended,” Kevin Walters of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance said Tuesday. “The next step is a hearing to remove it. Now, it is the criminal investigation that the TBI oversees. “
Walters said they have not yet set a date for the revocation hearing at which the board will make a final decision on revoking Wood’s contractual license.
Stay with News Channel 11 for updates to this developing story.