Unlicensed electrical contractor, nailed by both ESA and Ontario College of Trades, sentenced to 30 days in jail
Richard D. Hazel faces 30 days in jail and total fines of $15,485 for doing electrical work, deemed unsafe, on four Hamilton, ON houses without an electrical license, without inspections - and having shown a fake C of Q to obtain the work. He had been convicted on similar charges in Windsor, ON in 2012.
By Steve Payne
An unlicensed electrical contractor in the Hamilton, ON area has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined a total of $15,485 for doing illegal electrical work following investigations by both the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).
Richard D. Hazel, who operated under the name Voltcom Electrical Services (NOT the same firm as the well-established, fully-licensed, OCOT- and ESA-member firm Voltcom Inc., Burlington, ON,) was sentenced Oct. 2 at the Hamilton Courthouse to 30 days in jail and fined $6,250 – in addition to receiving two year’s probation – on various charges stemming from the ESA investigation.
The ESA said in a press release that this is the first time that an Ontario court has sent someone to jail for this type of offence.
Hazel was found guilty on eight charges: four counts of working without an electrical contractor’s license, one count of failing to obtain the required inspections, two counts of producing a false Certificate of Qualification, and one count of leaving behind unsafe electrical conditions at four homes in Hamilton and Burlington. Hazel was previously convicted in 2012 on 19 counts of violating electrical safety regulations at seven sites in the Windsor area, resulting in a total fine of $23, 750.
In addition to the ESA charges, Hazel pled guilty to five related charges laid by the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), and was fined an additional $7,400, plus $1,835 in victim surcharges, plus one year probation for those particular violations of the Ontario College of Trades and Apprentices Act (“engaging in practice, use of title, without a valid Certificate of Qualification, and falsely representing himself as having a certificate”).
The ESA first blew the whistle on Hazel’s Hamilton-area violations of the law in October 2013, after one of its inspectors learned that he had been involved in the permit-less renovation of a Hamilton home, remembering Hazel from its Windsor enforcement activities.
“The court has delivered a strong, clear message with this conviction and sentence that repeated, unlawful behaviour that puts public safety at risk has serious consequences. Despite previous convictions, this individual continued to flout the law,” said the ESA’s Normand Breton, General Manager, Registrar and Director, Contractor Licensing and Powerline Safety. “We are very pleased to see that the court has taken this next important step which we hope will deter others in the underground economy who are working outside the law.”
Bob Onyschuk, Director of Compliance and Enforcement for the Ontario College of Trades, said: “This is a great example of how working together with our partners, we can protect the public from uncertified and unlicensed workers.”