GONZALES — A state district judge extended on Friday a temporary order blocking a Livingston company and its owner from building houses in Ascension Parish while a state licensing board investigates allegations that the builder lacks a contractor’s license.
L.A.A.K.E. Quality Homes LLC and Kristopher Clark are alleged to be building about 20 homes in East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes without a required state contractor’s license, board officials said.
On June 22, the company ignored a cease and desist order from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors and continued construction, board officials said.
Board attorney Stephanie Laborde said lawsuits followed in Ascension and East and West Baton Rouge, involving one home construction site in each parish. The suits seek to stop construction by Clark and L.A.A.K.E., she said.
On Monday, judges in East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge and Ascension granted temporary restraining orders halting construction, Laborde said. She said that since then, work had halted.
No litigation has been filed in Livingston or Tangipahoa parishes, she said.
The temporary restraints were granted pending later hearings on a more extensive halt on construction, called a preliminary injunction.
The first of those hearings was held Friday at the Ascension Parish Courthouse Annex in Gonzales.
Judge Guy Holdridge of 23rd Judicial District Court granted the injunction until a trial can be held on a permanent order.
An employee of Clark, Matt Contreras, who is not a lawyer, told Holdridge and Laborde that he did not object to the ruling.
The hearing in West Baton Rouge is Thursday while the one in East Baton Rouge is July 12, Laborde has said.
Clark, who did not attend Friday’s hearing, said in an interview later Friday that he has been resolving the license issue and had hoped to keep the case from getting this far.
He said the license problem stemmed from a business dispute with his partner, who holds a contractor’s license under a different company, Two SD LLC, but who filed a complaint with the board.
Clark claimed L.A.A.K.E. is the financing arm for Two SD LLC, which he said is the actual builder.
Clark said his father, who is a partner in L.A.A.K.E., is currently seeking a license.
“There is really no wrongdoing here,” Clark said.
Late Friday, Matt Bordelon, the owner of Two SD LLC listed in state licensing and corporation records, contradicted Clark.
Bordelon said he is not a partner with Clark in Two SD but in another company. State online records show Two SD LLC is a licensed contractor.
The state board is planning an administrative hearing on Wednesday to investigate the licensing allegations, Laborde said. She said Clark and L.A.A.K.E. face fines of up to 10 percent of the value of the work under contract.
In Ascension, the board lawsuit does not make allegations about Clark or L.A.A.K.E.’s workmanship, but asserts that they are performing residential work in excess of $75,000, which requires the state license.