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Did roofer facing fraud charges lie on his state license application? Regulators want to know.

James Kenton roofer mugshot
Posted at 6:18 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2021-03-10 23:11:38-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Mt. Juliet based roofer already in hot water could be facing even more trouble soon.

James Kenton was arrested last week in Nashville and charged with home improvement fraud.

And now NewsChannel 5 Investigates has uncovered new information about Kenton's past that could affect his future in Tennessee.

Marylynne Norman of Bellevue told NewsChannel 5 Investigates that she repeatedly tried to get her roofer to repair what she called shoddy and defective work. Below are images of the work she included in a complaint.

"They never fixed it or they never really attempted to fix it. They did not even attempt," she explained.

Earlier this year, Norman paid Tennessee Metal Roofing just under $25,000 to install a new roof.

"They could not and did not know how to do the flashing around my roof. But they still went forward," she added.

Records show that when the company did the work on Norman’s roof, it did not have the required state home improvement license.

Norman's complaint to the state-led the Tennessee Board of Contractor Licensing to issue a $1,000 fine for unlicensed activity against James "Jim" Kenton who they identified as the owner of Tennessee Metal Roofing.

Several weeks after finishing Norman's roof, Kenton applied for and eventually got a license, not for the company, but under his own name. But in filling out his application, we found, Kenton wasn't completely truthful.

When he was asked if he'd ever had a contractor's license in TN or another state, he answered no. When asked if he'd ever had a license denied, suspended or revoked? Another no.

And to the question, “Do you have have a record of construction complaints from any state, agency or consumer?” Again, Kenton checked no.

But we found, Kenton did have a license in Massachusetts through his company Carefree Roofing and it was revoked by state regulators after they got repeated complaints from roofing customers.

He was also banned from doing business in New Hampshire for ten years by that state's attorney general for similar conduct.

In an email, Brandon Garod, the head of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Bureau wrote, “As part of his sentence, James P. Kenton was ordered not to operate any home improvement or telemarketing business in New Hampshire for a period of 10 years."

But those weren't Kenton's only lies. He also checked "no" when asked if he'd even been convicted of a felony.

Yet we found Kenton was sentenced to a year in jail in New Hampshire after he pled guilty in 2002 to felony charges of theft by deception, witness tampering and falsifying physical evidence, all related to double billing an elderly roofing customer and threatening another.

Kenton’s was also asked to list his job experience on his Tennessee application and he listed two out of state roofing companies where he maintained he only did sales work and was a subcontractor.

But according to state business records in North Carolina and Maine, Kenton was a lot more than just a subcontractor. He was actually the president of both companies.

Of course, all of this comes to light after Kenton was arrested by Metro Police for home improvement fraud for taking money from another Nashville homeowner.

Meanwhile, Marylynne Norman's roof is still leaking

"Yes, you paid them $25,000?" we asked her.

"Yes, I did."

"And now you have to go and hire another roofing company?" we inquired.

"Yes. Yes, I have to," she said.

Kenton signed his license application affirming that everything in it was true and correct.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance though told NewsChannel 5 Investigates that based on this new information, they're taking another look and if their investigators find he was untruthful, his license could be suspended or even revoked.

Meanwhile his attorney told us Kenton may have erred when answering the question about felonies, but insisted all of his other answers were truthful because he maintained the past problems were not his personally, but rather his businesses'. We'll have to see if the Contractor's board agrees.


Roofer accused of home improvement fraud has history of problems in other states