On Your Side Investigation: Contractor says he’s sorry and wronged customers

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -For the first time, we’re hearing from a contractor at the center of an On Your Side Investigation.

He’s accused of stealing thousands from homeowners.

Jon Rush, of Jon Rush Construction, pleaded guilty to a list of charges. His attorney agreed to an interview.

For more than two years, we’ve covered this story. About a dozen customers hired Rush to build their homes. Customers say he fabricated invoices and they were overcharged by the thousands.

“I think what’s unique about Jon is the first meeting we had with him in this room he said, ‘I made a mistake and I want to try to do whatever I can to make it right,” said Branden Twibell, Rush’s attorney.

Twibell is a criminal defense attorney. He stood by Jon Rush’s side in three counties when he pleaded guilty to stealing, forgery, passing bad checks and fraudulent lien waivers.

“He’s very sorry. Many people don’t start out wanting to harm somebody or wrong someone. I think in his mind he thought he would be a successful contractor for years and years to come. Obviously he made the wrong choices here,” said Twibell.

He cannot work in construction while on probation. He no longer lives in Missouri.

“One of the main reasons why he left the state is because he was having a tough time finding employment. Clearly he couldn’t go back to the industry he was in. He burned too many bridges there. With some of the attention this case has received a lot of people were not willing to hire him. I understand that. He understands that,” said Twibell.

We showed clips of this interview with customers.

“It would be nice to hear sorry from him, but sorry is not reimbursing our funds,” said Janet Schultz.

Rush is ordered to pay back customers. Customers say the payments are not consistent. Twibell says Rush is working on it.

“If you were to make someone in a case like this a convicted felony, go to prison or even spend months in jail, what’s our real goal here? Our goal is to make sure those people have their money back. If he is less likely to be employed because he’s in custody, that hurts them as well,” said Twibell.

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