KANSAS CITY, Kan. — There’s no sugar coating it. The outside of Tyler Coey’s house is a mess. He can barely use the front door because the front steps are missing and his once beautiful front yard has been torn apart.
“Destroyed, it’s destroyed,” Coey said.
He blames the Kansas City area contractor who he paid $35,000 last year to fix a retaining wall that had collapsed during a rain storm.
“I’m working on making sure he doesn’t do this to anybody else,” Coey said, who has created a web page to warn people about contractor Darren O’Rourke and the lengthy list of complaints against him.
O’Rourke owns Big Block Specialist and was recommended to Coe by a family friend. O’Rourke promised Coey that he could build him a new retaining wall in a month. That was last July.
Before O’Rourke could get started he said he needed money, $5,000, to order the concrete block. A few weeks later, O’Rourke wanted $19,000 more to buy the rest of the block. Coey, who paid him all the money, said he wasn’t worried because block was being delivered to his home. But it wasn’t long after that problems began.
As the weeks ticked by, almost no work was getting done and O’Rourke kept asking Coey for more money, which Coey paid.
“I would see him pull up, unload, work for two hours and drive off,” Coey said. In fact, weeks would pass where Coe wouldn’t see O’Rourke at all.
Coey said O’Rourke always had an excuse.
“First, it was COVID,” Coey recalled. “Then we got broken down machinery. Then we got an accident. Then we got a lot of I’m sick.”
Coey had enough and demanded O’Rourke either finish the job or give him his $35,000 back. But O’Rourke claimed he could only finish the job if Coey first paid him yet another $5,000.
This time Coey refused. O’Rourke quit, claiming Coey was too difficult to work for.
Infuriated, Coey started doing what he wished he’d done last summer, a deep dive into Darren O’Rourke’s background. What he found wasn’t pretty.
“One month before he lied to me to get this job he was in jail for forgery,” Coey said.
O’Rourke has been sued more than 30 times in both Missouri and Kansas by people like Luke Jenkins, owner of KC Dentkrafters in Shawnee.
“Just meeting him you’d think he was a level-headed guy. It’s hard to assume he would take all your money,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins claimed in a lawsuit that O’Rourke skipped out on an $8,000 bill after Jenkins fixed hundreds of hail dents on his Cadillac. A judge demanded O’Rourke pay up. He never has.
And it gets worse.
In 2018, after O’Rourke defrauded a minister, a Wyandotte County judge banned O’Rourke and his Big Block Specialist company from the “sale or construction of landscaping in the entire state of Kansas.”
It was just a few years later that O’Rourke was at Coey’s house peddling his landscaping skills.
“He shouldn’t even have been here,” Coey said.
Coey complained to Kansas City, Kansas police who dismissed his complaint as a civil matter. Coey even had trouble getting the Wyandotte County District Attorney to take action – even though it was the district attorney who fought for that court order banning O’Rourke from working in Kansas.
After FOX4 Problem Solvers started working on this story, the DA’s office opened an investigation against O’Rourke and appears to be taking action.
Problem Solvers went looking for O’Rourke. Although no one answered the door at his Northland home, we did catch up with him. We found him in criminal court in Johnson County, Kansas. He’s been charged with defrauding a business partner by forging his signature on a loan.
O’Rourke has denied he did anything illegal, but the judge ruled there was enough evidence against him to bring the case to trial.
So what did O’Rourke have to say about Coey and his wreck of a home? He had no comment. Just another reason why Darren O’Rourke is the newest member of the FOX4 Problem Solvers Hall of Shame.