LOWELL — A North Andover-based fire-alarm and sprinkler installer has denied allegations he filed false documents with the Lowell Fire Department to get permits for systems he was installing for a multifamily rehab.
In Lowell District Court on Monday, David A. Padellaro, 48, of 17 Merrimack St., Lawrence, doing business as W. R. Mulvey Co. in North Andover, pleaded not guilty to filing a false claim with a government agency.
Padellaro’s attorney, Michael T. Ryan, denies the allegations. Ryan’s co-counsel, Christopher Romeo, declined comment on the case.
At a Jan. 4 hearing, Ryan will ask that the charge against his client be dismissed because he says he was never given an opportunity to request a show-cause hearing before a clerk-magistrate.
According to court documents, the owner of a home at 187 Cumberland St. in Lowell told police that he is renovating the building into a multifamily home.
The alleged victim told police he hired Padellaro’s company to install the fire-alarm and sprinkler systems. The victim paid $8,500, with a balance of $7,000 due.
Before the Lowell Fire Department’s final inspection on the work, the department noticed there was a problem with Padellaro’s state contractor’s license and insurance, according to court documents.
Padellaro allegedly provided insurance information for a company he didn’t have insurance with, documents state.
When the victim searched the state’s website, he discovered Padellaro was not licensed in Massachusetts and only had an expired apprentice license from 2004.
When the victim confronted Padellaro, the contractor demanded the remainder of his money, and said this was just a “misunderstanding,” according to court documents.
When the victim refused to pay, Padellaro was captured on security cameras entering the property and removing a large back-flow preventor and any fire-alarm equipment that had not been installed. Padellaro told police the money he had been paid did not cover those items.
Police contacted Edward Phelan, of North Andover Mechanical, whose contractor’s license Padellaro used for documents in the Lowell project. Padellaro told police Phelan, then an office manager, gave him permission to use the license for the job.
Phelan told police that Padellaro had his permission to use his license in the past, but not for the Lowell project and not since September 2010.
But Padellaro allegedly disagreed with Phelan’s understanding of their agreement and noted he uses Phelan’s license all the time, according to court documents.
The Lowell Sun