Man denies duping Overland Park couple who owns dilapidated KC house

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- James and Essie Thomas are tired of looking at the partially torn down house they call a big eyesore.

The couple said all the old wood, insulation and rusty pipes are causing all kinds of problems for them.

"I can't even enjoy sitting out here," James Thomas said.

For more than two weeks now, the 88-year-old and his 77-year-old wife said, at times, sitting on their bench outside their home has been hazardous to their health.

Thomas battles COPD, and his wife has a rare blood condition.

"All that old insulation, it blows," he said. "Now if the wind comes from this way, you can't even sit here. We can't open the window."

Thomas said the piles of rotten wood, collapsed ceilings and more also attract unwanted pests.

"First the snakes, the rats, the rabbits, the raccoons," the 88-year-old said.

Roy and Rebecca Flaig of Overland Park own the half-demolished property. They said in April, they gave contractor Donta Littlejohn with Alliance Real Estate Service two checks totally $4,800 to tear down the vacant house.

The Flaigs said the contractor initially wanted $8,000.

"We were going to give him the total amount after it got done," Roy Flaig said. "They never finished."

Meanwhile, the couple said they've since learned the city put a stop work order on their property because the contractor never got a proper demolition permit to allow his crew to do the work.

"You can't do demolition work without the proper permit," said Chris Hernandez, a spokesman for Kansas City.

Now, the city has a message for the property owners.

"We expect them to clean up the mess very quickly and get the proper permits and do the demolition work properly," Hernandez said.

"I want the stuff cleaned up and the grass cut so I don`t have to come out every day and look at this mess," Essie Thomas said.

No one can say when this mess will finally be cleaned up. In the meantime, the  property owners said they plan to take Littlejohn to court.

Initially, when FOX4's Robert Townsend called Littlejohn and asked if he had anything to say to the property owners, he hung up on Townsend.

However, one week after FOX4’s initial report about the controversial demolition project, on May 31, Donta Littlejohn had plenty to say to FOX4 during a telephone conversation.

Littlejohn insisted he “did not dupe Roy and Rebecca Flaig out of their money.”

“I am not a contractor. I do not have a license to do contracting work. They paid me $2,000 to be a referral for them and so that’s all I did. I referred them to Michael Clark of Clark Construction Company. I did not steal their money. The other check was made out to Clark Contstruction, ” Littlejohn said.

When FOX 4 asked Littlejohn if he is aware the Flaigs now plan to sue him in civil court, Littlejohn claimed he had not been informed of that.

FOX4's Robert Townsend called Michael Clark, who owns Clark Construction, on Thursday to ask him about LIttlejohn’s claims, but Clark did not return Townsend’s call.

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