Two Upper Valley cases involve alleged asbestos abatement violations 

By JOHN LIPPMAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 06-30-2023 2:54 PM

LEBANON — A Warner, N.H., contractor who was hired to remove asbestos at two Upper Valley locations has been indicted on charges that he operated without a license and falsely claimed to clients that samples taken from the sites had tested positive for asbestos. It’s the second case involving alleged violations by an asbestos abatement contractor working in the Upper Valley this year.

Jordan Dunne, owner of JD Demolition & Asbestos Services in Warner, was indicted separately in both Sullivan County and Grafton County for allegedly working as an unlicensed asbestos abatement contractor at two different jobs — one for a homeowner in Claremont and the other at a business in West Lebanon — and allegedly falsely claiming samples he removed from the work sites were submitted to labs and tested positive for asbestos, according to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.

Michael Garrity, spokesman for the New Hampshire Department of Justice, said the DOJ’s Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau had “received a number of complaints against Dunne” and as a result opened an investigation. “These charges are the result of that investigation,” he said via email on Wednesday.

This is not the first time Dunne is alleged to have run afoul of the state’s asbestos regulations.

In 2014, he was fined $7,750 by the state Department of Environmental Services relating to asbestos abatement and disposal activities, according to state court records.

Dunne, reached by phone on Friday, said he “didn’t know what to say” in regard to allegations in the indictments.

“I’ve never been in this situation before. I’m just trying to move on with my life,” he said.

The indictments follow a Swanzey, N.H., contractor who pleaded guilty last month in Sullivan County Court to improperly disposing asbestos materials from a Charlestown home at which he had been working. The contractor, Aaron Doleszny, was sentenced to 12 months in Sullivan County House of Corrections, all suspended for a period of three years, during which time he is barred from engaging in any asbestos abatement activities.

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Although the indictments do not identify the purported victims, state prosecutors allege Dunne performed asbestos work at a business located at 5 Airport Road in West Lebanon, a shopping plaza of retail stores, including LaValley’s Building Supply, known as LaValley’s Colonial Plaza.

LaValley’s owner Larry Huot said via email on Thursday that he had “no knowledge” of “any case” involving asbestos abatement at the plaza or “this man Dunne.”

In Claremont, Dunne is alleged to worked on an asbestos project at 105 Winter Road in June and July 2022, according to the indictments, for which he received a payment of more than $1,500.

The Claremont property at that address is now owned by Morris and Cynthia Gendron, of Dummerston, Vt., who purchased the one-tenth-of-an-acre lot with an 800-square-foot mobile home on it for $17,000 from Gerald Parker earlier this month, according to Claremont property records.

Cynthia Gendron said on Thursday that the previous owners “gave us some papers” that state tests were done that show asbestos in the linoleum flooring, and she and her husband are currently trying to find an asbestos abatement contractor to remove it. She said they are not aware of any legal issues involving a contractor who worked on the property.

George Packer, the previous owner, reached by phone on Wednesday, declined to comment, citing the pending criminal matter.

Gendron said she and her husband purchased the property, which is adjacent to their daughter’s and son-in-law’s residence, with the expectation of relocating there when she retires. She said the structure is in ruin and they plan to “demo it” and either put a new manufactured home on the lot or build there.

“There’s no roof on half of it. I mean, it’s nasty,” she said.

Doleszny, the Swanzey contractor, was charged with improperly disposing asbestos-laden roof shingles he removed from a Charlestown client’s home when the trailer in which he stashed bag of the debris was discovered by New Hampshire state troopers abandoned on the side of the road in Acworth, N.H., last year.

Huot, of LaValley’s Building Supply, which deals with many Upper Valley contractors, said people requiring asbestos abatement should invest time in researching contractors before picking up the phone or sending an email to inquire about their availability.

“Folks hiring tradesmen need to be aware of the importance of due diligence necessary for best success by working with trust-worthy, experienced and reputable services,” he advised.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services lists licensed asbestos contractors on its website. The most recent list identifies 74 firms licensed to operate as asbestos abatement contractors in the state.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.