Contractor sweep finds dozens of violations

OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- A five-county sweep of construction sites turned up numerous instances of unlicensed and unsafe contractors, including several in northern San Diego County, the Contractors State License Board announced Thursday.

CSLB investigators visited a dozen job sites in Oceanside June 14, issued a $750 citation to an unlicensed contractor who advertised his services illegally, and handed out five warning letters, according to the agency.

The next day, they visited five construction sites in Carlsbad, San Marcos and Vista and gave out one warning letter, according to the agency.

Investigators with the CSLB and other state and federal agencies hit 134 locations in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer and Sacramento counties during the two days. Seven criminal arrests were made for contracting without a license, and 10 unlicensed contractors were given administrative citations, the agency said.

Also, 61 administrative actions were taken for safety violations. The CSLB said other contractors were found to not have enough workers' compensation coverage or allegedly broke payroll tax laws.

State law requires construction or home improvement projects to be performed by licensed contractors who have adequate workers' compensation coverage and who adhere to safety guidelines.

The agency warned consumers to verify a contractor's license and photo identification, check the CSLB website to see if the license is in good standing, don't pay more than 10 percent down on the cost of the project, and don't pay cash.