Convicted contractor continues to find reprieve with COVID-19 delays, adjournments


CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A convicted contractor, who pleaded guilty to grand larceny nearly one year ago, continues to walk free. His angry customers say he was able to target them and others due to repeated delays with his criminal sentencing.

NEWS10’s Anya Tucker spoke with some of them.

“It’s despicable. He should not be allowed out and about.”

Justine Velasco is talking about Capital Region contractor Dwight Fiero. Justine says she and her husband hired Fiero in July to replace the deck behind their Albany home but that never happened.

“Just left everything strewn all over the place.”

The mom of four says Fiero went by the name David Fiero, not Dwight, and he worked under the business name of War Cry Contracting. She says they signed a contract agreeing to a $1,400 down payment, but she says Fiero only got as far as dismantling the old deck, and they never saw him again.

“I want our money back,” said Velasco.

Fiero has a lengthy history of fraud arrests and convictions, including a conviction last January when he pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny for trying to steal $10,000 from a customer by adding another zero to the customer’s check.

He was facing a 1 1/2 to 3-year prison term at his scheduled March sentencing. But the date was postponed due to the COVID-19 shutdown, and it was adjourned twice after that.

Anya: “He should have been sentenced. You would have never met him.”
Justine: “We would never have had to deal with this.”

And the same goes for Andrea Scanu, Steven Checksfield and Rick Ruotolo.

They all say they hired the man they now know as Dwight Fiero well after his original March sentencing date.

“You know, this should not have happened to any of us,” Checksfield said. “And for the system to let this happen, it’s sad.”

Andrea and Rick are veterans, and they say they initially liked the idea of hiring a fellow veteran.

“The fact that he is still allowed to run out in the community and smear veterans by what he is doing is really horrible,” Ruotolo said.

Unfortunately, he is out there, and he could be doing this to other people as well,” Scanu said.

The three homeowners are not, yet, part of any criminal case.

The Albany County District Attorney’s office tells NEWS10 ABC that many allegations involving contractors typically fall outside of criminal prosecution.

As for Justine, she found a bit of justice in civil court. A judge sided against Fiero and awarded her family $5,000. But it’s money she doesn’t think she will ever see.

Many of the people Anya spoke with while working on this story tell her they shared their stories and complaints regarding Dwight Fiero with the Attorney General’s Office.

Fiero’s attorney, Matt Hug, declined to comment on the current criminal case or the more recent allegations.

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