'I think the guy needs to go to jail:' Contact7 tracks down unlicensed contractor

Asbestos spill forces another family out of home
Posted at 10:48 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 03:10:07-04

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BROOMFIELD — A Broomfield family is forced out of their home and losing everything because of an asbestos spill.

So, they called Contact7 for help — that's Denver7's promise to lend a helping hand and hold people accountable.

"I think the guy needs to go to jail," said Rob Kneusel, the latest person to Contact7 for help with Jim's Renovations. "He was just a smooth talker."

He said Jim Johnson was supposed to repair the roof of his Broomfield home, but the project kept expanding until Johnson eventually scraped his popcorn ceiling.  

Kneusel said the work was shoddy, but he didn't start worrying about asbestos until he saw Denver7's previous investigations in March.

"Just the fact that we put our kids as risk, just exposing them to asbestos that's what gets me the most," said Natasha Mitchell, whose family is still out of their house after it was contaminated with asbestos, she said, following work by Johnson.

"When I heard that, my heart just sunk, and the next day, I had the entire house tested," said Kneusel, whose report showed that there was asbestos in every room tested. 

He immediately thought of his 7-year-old daughter.

"Every morning, my daughter, she sits on the vents, every day to warm up getting ready for school. And I sit there and think about that asbestos blowing up in her lungs," said Knuesel. "It's evil."

Denver7 has reached out to Jim Johnson, owner of Jim's Renovations before, and he refused to speak on-camera. So this time, we knocked on his door to try to get answers. When he saw our camera, he quickly walked away. 

"I'm going to call the cops," said Johnson. "Bandwagon. I'm not jumping on the bandwagon."

Later, he sent a text message saying "Absolutely no charges have been filed against me."

Contact7 has been investigating and learned that Jim's Renovations and Jim Johnson are not licensed to remove asbestos, and he is now under investigation by the state health department.

"We're going to lose everything. And people don't understand when you say everything, it's everything," said Kneusel, who is now living with his family at his mother's house. "At least we got out when we did. We were there for a while, but it's huge what you guys are doing, and everybody should know asbestos can be dealt with correctly, but if it's not, it's a tragedy. It is something that affects so many lives."