On Your Side Investigation: Fair Grove church pays $29k for new roof, sues Springfield business

Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 6:02 PM CDT
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An Ozarks church paid a Springfield roofing company thousands and the job isn't done. It hasn't even started.

First Baptist Church in Fair Grove took a punch from mother nature.

"The shingles are lifting up. We have shingles coming off. The insurance adjuster was up there and said 'yeah it's shot'. We need a roof," said Pastor Mark Conn.

Buckets go in pews.

"We have to put them all over when it's getting ready to rain," said Conn.

Pastor Mark Conn and his congregation put their faith in Dakoda Truitt with Truitts Roofing LLC or Truitt's Roofing. In January, the church put more than 50 percent down. That's nearly $30,000 paid.

"We need him to do the right thing. We prayed that he would step up and honor the contract. Frankly we prayed he'd make himself right before God because obviously he has not. Something needs to be done," said Conn.

Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months.

"Nothing. Constantly trying to reach out. Very difficult to get a hold of. Prior to writing that check, easy," said Conn.

Conn says insurance will foot most of the bill if the work is done by June. But if not, the church must pay the nearly $30,000.

Late last week the church filed a lawsuit against Truitt for breach of contract. On Your Side went to Truitt's Roofing near Sunshine Street and Glenstone Avenue.

No one came to the door. On Your Side left a note with contact info asking for an on camera interview. Dakoda Truitt sent Ashley Reynolds an email. He says the whole thing is a misunderstanding. He blames Kode Witherspoon, a former employee.

"It sucks I worked for someone like that," said Kode Witherspoon.

"Well it's kind of hard to embezzle money when all the checks are going to Truitt's Roofing," said Witherspoon.

He says, Dakoda Truitt didn't pay him for two months, so he quit.

"You can look at my bank accounts. You're not going to see no $9,000, $10,000, $30,000 deposits," said Witherspoon.

On Your Side asked Springfield Police to check. They said there's no recent reports filed from Dakoda Truitt or his roofing company.

"I just want to clear my name. Everyone who knows me knows I wouldn't do something like that. Nor would I go through the process of talking to you," said Witherspoon.

On Your Side did some digging and found two recently filed lawsuits against Truitt. A supply company says Truitt owes $21,000.

A customer in Nixa is suing Dakoda Truitt and his company for nearly $8,000. She paid him in February and court documents read Truitt 'abandoned' the job.

Both of these cases were filed within the last few weeks and Truitt has not filed a formal response.

Meantime in Fair Grove it's a spiritual battle of justice and forgiveness.

"I don't want to harm him. I don't want to harm his business. I don't want harm his ability for him to be able to feed his family and to make a living. At the same time, I have to protect the people in this church. They're my primary concern," said Conn.

Dakoda Truitt went on to say in that email the roof will be put on, but he didn't say when. That contract does not have a timeline, something building experts say you should always have.

The city of Fair Grove requires a permit for a roof replacement. Truitt has not filed an application.

Make sure your contractor does what's required for where you live.

Ashley Reynolds responded to his email and asked for an on camera interview. She hasn't heard back.