OSCODA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — In this exclusive interview, a residential builder opens up about a cease and desist order he received from LARA, Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
It turns out, the owner of Randy Rourke Builders should have never received that order from the state. He says he has yet to receive an apology.
“I build houses, mostly residential,” said Randy Rourke. He runs Rourke Builders. “I probably built 15 homes on this road, on Cedar Lake Road alone.”
Randy has been constructing homes for the past 39 years throughout the Oscoda Township area. Randy had to cut his vacation in Florida short. An unexpected complaint, turned investigation, nearly cost him his business. News headlines made him return to Michigan.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”
The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued a cease and desist letter March 19 detailing that Randy Rourke was doing business without a proper state license. Randy said, “Rourke Builders wasn’t on my license. That’s what I was told.”
LARA opened a case against Randy for violating the state’s occupational code. One — not possessing a license, and two — entering into an agreement with a customer offering services regulated by the occupational code. Randy said he did nothing wrong.
We confirmed that Randy has been a licensed residential builder since 1994, the year he started his business in Oscoda.
The owner added his business name Randy Rourke Builders to his license near the end of 2018 because he did not know that he was out of compliance until an investigator notified him. Prior to the update, Randy wrote contracts under the non–existent business name Rourke Builders, which originally landed him in violation. We contacted LARA for answers. They said the Bureau of Construction Codes had a “communication breakdown” with the Attorney General’s Office.
Below is the exact statement we received from LARA, after calling and emailing them multiple times to understand the situation.
“On March 19, the Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC) issued a Cease & Desist Order against Rourke Builders for engaging in the practice of residential building by contracting to perform such services without a license. A press release was issued on March 25 reporting this issue. On March 27, it was brought to our attention that Rourke Builders was a DBA for Randy Rourke in which he was operating and that Randy Rourke was a licensed residential builder. BCC looked into the matter further and discovered that Randy Rourke filed a request for a name update with BCC on December 13, 2018, to add Randy Rourke Builders as the DBA to the license for Randy Rourke. Unfortunately BCC did not provide the name update to Assistant Attorney General Bruce Johnson who worked on the complaint against Rourke Builders and drafted the Cease & Desist Order that was issued by BCC. Upon learning of this filing, BCC worked with Bruce Johnson to draft a stipulation voiding the order. On March 28, BCC and Rourke Builders entered into a Stipulation Declaring the March 19 Notice and Order to Cease & Desist as Null and Void. On March 29, a press release was issued declaring the nullification. BCC took immediate action to resolve the matter among the parties and will take action to remedy the communication breakdown with the Attorney General’s Office.”
Randy Rourke will continue doing business as usual, but he wishes this experience never happened because “absolutely! I felt embarrassed” and hurt.
The cease and desist against Randy Rourke is officially null and void as of March 28, 2019.