Disabled St. Louis County man says well-known crook duped him


by Mike Colombo / News 4 and KMOV.com staff


Posted on January 17, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 18 at 9:59 AM

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) -- A disabled St. Louis County man says he’s been taken by a contractor he hired to build an emergency ramp to his basement storm shelter.

Kevin Parker hasn’t just gotten used to life in a wheelchair, he’s shown incredible strength and perseverance since a life-threatening auto accident in June of 2004.

“I’m a C-5 quadriplegic,” said Parker.

With a young son, he’s facing the future with a new lease on life. A life lived safer and easier with a major renovation to his home.

“I’ve weathered a couple of near-miss tornadoes, in the kitchen with literally a mattress strapped to my back,” Parker said.

Parker wanted to build a ramp that goes right into his basement, where he has a safe room for storms.

In October, Parker paid Brian Thomas and his company, Buildings of Steel, $15,000 to do the job. Three months later, that’s gotten him a path dug, steel rebar in place and a gaping hole in the homes foundation.

Lately, that $15,0000 has bought a whole bunch of excuses from Thomas about why the work isn’t finished.

“He claimed between Christmas and other projects and mayhem I’ve just been busy and promise I’ll be there and not there,” said Parker.

Turns out the crooked concrete contractor isn’t anywhere he’s supposed to be. News 4 checked and he isn’t who he says he is.

It turns out Thomas is really Brian Ecker, the same man then Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon sued in 2006 for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from consumers with his business, B and C  Custom Pools.

He was ordered to pay back $117,000 restitution and penalties while being permanently barred from the pool construction business.

After attempting to contact Ecker several times, Colombo finally received an e-mail from someone with Buildings of Steel indicating work would start again by the end of the week.

But the case has again piqued the interest of the attorney general and the Better Business Bureau.