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The Bottom Line: Contractor again accused of bilking customers

Updated: Thursday, February 13 2014, 07:16 PM EST

COLONIE -- An update now on an area contractor, who CBS 6's Dori Marlin has gotten The Bottom Line on before.
Since Dori uncovered Robert Decker's 20-year history last fall of collecting homeowners' money without doing the work he promised, she's heard from more viewers who say they are victims of his, as well.

But now, thanks to CBS 6's Liz Bishop and the Perp Patrol, Robert Decker is under arrest again.

"Late December, he was featured on the Perp Patrol," says Colonie Police Lt. Robert Winn. "The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department had just dealt with him, they had the new address in Fonda, went to the house, and they arrested him at the house."

That, after Decker's now accused of doing the same thing to two homeowners in Loudonville, who answered to an ad in the Times Union.

"'Rent-A-Husband' is what it was titled as, also listed 'A-Plus Rated Construction,' which is the company owned and operated by Robert Decker," Lt. Winn says.

Dori uncovered in November the long paper trail against Decker, who was first arrested by the New York State Attorney General's office 20 years ago:

He's been arrested multiple times, charged with repeated fraud and deceptive coonduct; ordered by the state to never work as a contractor again; and was charged again in 2005 for violating that order. 

But still, Decker is looking for work.

Dori asked the AG's Office in November, "Is there any kind of statewide registry, let's say, where someone can look and say, 'Here's the name of a contractor who should not be practicing?'"

"There is no central registry," Assistant Attorney General Amy Schallop had responded. "You know, it's not that easy to maintain an actual good current database."

But now, there may be some movement on a statewide contractor database, after Dori brought Decker's dealings to the attention of another state official:  Assemblyman Jim Tedisco of Glenville, who also happens to be another of Decker's alleged victims.

"I think it's enough that we need something statewide that people can look at," Tedisco says. "And if a person has been arrested, convicted, I think their name should be on a statewide registry."

And, he tells Dori, he's already working to introduce legislation to create just that.

"The state AG's Office had told me in November, it would be too hard to maintain a database like this.  Is that a feasible argument?" Dori asked the Assemblyman.

"No, I think the software's already in place," Tedisco answered. "The Department of Criminal Justice Services could oversee it, they do it now with our sexual predators.  It won't be foolproof, but I think it'll catch alot of them.  And it'll save alot of people from alot of financial hardship."



The Bottom Line: Contractor again accused of bilking customers

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