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August 3, 2018
Steve Marshall
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that a Calhoun County
Circuit Court today granted his emergency request for a temporary restraining order to prevent
continued harm from a deceptive and dangerous plumbing operation in several northeast
Alabama counties. Calhoun County Circuit Judge Brian Howell also ordered that the
defendants’ assets be frozen and appointed a receiver to handle financial matters and accept
claims from victims. A preliminary injunction hearing is set for August 16, 2018.
Attorney General Marshall was joined in the State’s complaint, filed in Calhoun County Circuit
Court, by the Alabama Board of Electrical Contractors, the Alabama Department of Public
Health, the Alabama Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board, the Alabama Onsite Wastewater Board
(AOWB) and the Alabama Plumbers and Gasfitters Examining Board. The lawsuit was filed
against a set of defendants operating as a common enterprise: American Plumbing and Septic
Service LLC, American Plumbing and Septic Service Inc. doing business as American Drain
Cleaning & Plumbing Service, Davis Unlimited LLC, and individuals affiliated as owners and
incorporators, Richard Joshua Pesnell, Jessica Pesnell and Richard G. Pesnell. The State is
seeking a total of $1.4 million in penalties and $118,270 in restitution for multiple violations.
Despite advertised assurances of free estimates, senior discounts and promises to work with
customers to guarantee their satisfaction, the actual practices outlined in the State’s complaint
tell a far different story. These include numerous instances of refusal to give an estimate when
consumers repeatedly ask, charging exorbitant prices beyond anything earlier suggested when
an estimate was given, claiming the need for huge repairs when they were called for minor jobs,
starting major work without permission and leaving things torn apart for consumers to have to
hire someone else to finish, pressuring consumers to take out loans and even taking out a loan
in a consumer’s name without his knowledge or permission, and intimidation tactics such as
refusing to leave the consumer’s property when being told to go. Furthermore, the defendants
did not have required licenses to perform certain jobs and much of their work was substandard
and created hazardous conditions.
“Many of these consumers were vulnerable and in dire need when they turned to the
defendants for help,” said Attorney General Marshall. “Instead, they were met with lies and
exploitation. The actions alleged in our complaint are serious violations and I am relieved that
the Court granted our motion to restrain the defendants from causing further harm.”
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300
www.ago.alabama.gov Page 2 of 2

The State’s lawsuit references 33 known victims in Calhoun, Talladega, Randolph, St. Clair,
Etowah and Marshall counties, and others may contact the receiver about possible claims.

Jeffrey C. Schneider, a Florida attorney appointed as receiver, may be contacted through Ana
Salazar, a receivership administrator, by writing to Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider +
Grossman LLP, 201 South Biscayne Boulevard, 22 Floor, Miami, FL, 33131, by calling 786-347-
2562, ext. 197, or by email to americanplumbingreceivership@lklsg.com. Consumers may also
refer to the Receiver’s website, www.americanplumbingandsepticservice-receivership.com.
Melissa A. Hines, executive director of the Alabama Onsite Wastewater Board, stated, “The
alleged practices in this case are of great concern to the Alabama Onsite Wastewater Board;
violations ranging from dumping raw sewage in an unapproved location to installing/repairing
onsite systems without a permit from local authorities. The AOWB’s purpose is to ensure the
individuals in this industry are educated and licensed. Our primary focus in this case is to
assist in protecting the homeowner/consumer, and to protect the licensees in the onsite
industry that abide by the rules and regulations pertaining to their trade.”
“The State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board and its staff are committed to
the protection of the consumers in our state,” said Executive Director James M. Morgan. “We
appreciate the work that the Attorney General’s office has put into this case and express our
gratitude to Assistant Attorney General Noel Barnes, Deputy Attorney General Cameron
McEwen, Plumbers and Gas Fitters Board Compliance Officers Michael Leonhardi and Butch
Tumlin, as well as all the other state agencies who have been involved with this effort. We are
very pleased with the progress that has been made toward protecting consumers in our great
Attorney General Marshall commended his Consumer Interest Division, including Division
Chief Olivia Martin, and Assistant Attorneys General Noel Barnes and Michael Dean, as well as
Assistant Attorney General Matt Bledsoe of the General Civil Division, for their expert handling
of this case. Additionally, he thanked Sheriff Matthew Wade and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s
Office, and Chief Bill Partridge and the Oxford Police Department for their invaluable
The temporary restraining order issued today stops the defendants from operating while the
Court reviews the matter and considers the State’s requests for a permanent injunction,
restitution to consumers, appointment of a receiver and assessment of civil penalties.