Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
Debbie Dujanovic reporting Accusations are flying, homes are flooding, and a neighborhood is fed up. They're taking on their contractor, who also serves as a Salt Lake County Councilman.
Homeowners call it a neighborhood nightmare. Stonewalled, and financially strapped from all the problems, they're speaking out.
Some have spent two years trying to get the builder to fix major problems with their homes. So we tracked down the contractor, as he left a Salt Lake County Council meeting.
Debbie Dujanovic/Eyewitness News: "Murray City was out there today, and cited several code violations."
Salt Lake County Councilman Marv Hendrickson wouldn't stop for the camera.
Debbie Dujanovic/Eyewitness News: "You don't want to sit down and do an interview with me?"
Marv Hendrickson/Salt Lake County Councilman: "Nope."
He didn't respond to questions.
Debbie Dujanovic: "There's accusations you've been given special favors."
The councilman is a contractor who's left a cul-de-sac of outraged customers.
Dick Murray/ Homeowner: "It's actually to the point where I'm not even mad anymore. I'm just disgusted."
Hendrickson faces a lawsuit from one homeowner.
Kevin Wyatt/ Homeowner: "I don't have seven thousand dollars to just go fix it."
And others say:
Blaine Graham/ Homeowner: "If that's the way he runs his business, you hate to see the way he runs his political career."
Since buying in Hendrickson's development in Murray, half of one front yard's collapsed.
Blaine Graham: "We went almost an entire year with half a front yard, that was sunk almost a foot."
There's concern about concrete cracking, a pipe that can't drain the roof because it runs up hill. This apparent solution to keep dirt from washing away. A drain -- installed too high. Basements flood.
Kevin Wyatt: "I've got a home office that can't be used, a family room that can't be used, and one child that's displaced out of her bedroom."
Kevin Wyatt says his yard slopes toward his house so water runs in. Building code says it should slope down and away.
Hendrickson extended the window wells, but the water keeps coming.
A letter, faxes, and phone calls to Hendrickson. Now Wyatt wonders why frustrated Murray City signed off on these homes.
Kevin Wyatt: "I do have some concerns. I think he knows a lot of people and may have influence."
Anne vonWeller/ Chief Building Official, Murray: "I assure you that is absolutely not true."
Murray's Chief Building Official denies any special favors to Councilman Hendrickson. But Murray still can't explain why homes with so many apparent problems were approved.
Anne vonWeller: "I think we have a few code violations."
After a recent inspection, vonWeller agrees this drainage pipe is a problem.
Anne vonWeller: "It is a poor installation."
This drain's not up to code. Here, the yard slopes toward the home. Hendrickson tried to stop flooding by lining up railroad ties.
Les Price/ Homeowner: "This is Marv trying to fix my water from running into the basement, because it was flooding."
Anne vonWeller: "I don't consider this an acceptable fix. It's not acceptable, no."
In her report to Murray City: Yards must be lowered, or window wells raised.
The report, citing several problems, was issued, and Hendrickson decided to talk.
Marv Hendrickson: "Those people have had ample time to send me notice of their problems. Did they? They've done that?"
Debbie Dujanovic: "Yes, they say they've faxed, called, talked to your secretary."
Hendrickson: "Oh, come on."
He won't commit to fixing all the problems, and denies accusations that political status got him any favors.
Marv Hendrickson: "I had public pull. I took in an application for a building permit and a check."
And questioned a story that's based on a few customer complaints.
Marv Hendrickson: "They didn't say Hendrickson is a no good S-of-a-B. They probably said, 'Oh he's an alright guy. We might have a little (censored) here and there.' Ever build a house? Ahh, do. It's the greatest experience in the world."
All seven homeowners in the cul-de-sac report problems. Murray's giving Hendrickson until the end of summer to get things resolved.
But there's more trouble -- This is the last lot in his Murray development. The city's putting Hendrickson on notice: Clean it up or face a lien.