Judge rejects proposed plea deal in home improvement case
A Westmoreland County judge rejected a Connellsville man's plea agreement on Monday and asked that victims who are due nearly $42,000 in restitution tell the court their opinion on a possible sentence.
One victim said he'd like Ronald Spoljarick, 37, to serve jail time.
Louis Gregovits of North Huntingdon told Judge Al Bell that he paid Spoljarick $3,000 to have work done at his house. Spoljarick never returned, Gregovits said.
“Personally, I'd like to see him go to jail,” he said.
Prosecutors had offered Spoljarick three years of intermediate punishment and a year under house arrest with electronic monitoring in exchange for a guilty plea. The former Mt. Pleasant man brought a certified check for $10,000 to court yesterday — 25 percent of the $41,837 claimed in restitution by eight victims.
Spoljarick is accused of receiving down payments for home improvement projects that he never started in Hempfield and North Huntingdon between April 2009 and Aug. 23, 2011, under his business, Gorgeous Exterior Modifications. He allegedly gave excuses to customers who questioned the work or ignored them, according to investigators.
Bell rejected the plea deal because he was skeptical that Spoljarick would pay the entire amount of restitution while under supervision.
“It's been my experience that, honestly, he's not going to pay this money back in three years,” Bell said, referring to the agreement that called for three years of supervision. “I'm not keen on taking this plea bargain.”
Assistant District Attorney Jacquelyn Knupp said victims will be consulted before attorneys determine their next step. Defense Counsel David Kaiser declined to comment.
Gregovits testified that he, his sister and his daughter paid Spoljarick down payments to do work at each of their homes.
“Of course, we never saw (Spoljarick) again,” he said.
Gregovits' wife repeatedly called Spoljarick, who gave excuses as to why the project wasn't started.
In four separate cases, Spoljarick is facing eight counts of receiving advance payment for services and failing to perform and one count of theft by deception. Spoljarick's company had been hired by residents in North Huntingdon and Hempfield to replace roofs, gutters and downspouts, and to build a deck.
Attorney General Linda Kelly's office filed a lawsuit against Gorgeous Exterior Modifications in January as a result of homeowner complaints.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.