New twists in Cleveland man's huge-bill case

Posted at 4:30 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 18:31:30-04

NewsChannel 5 Investigators are following up on a huge bill that’s been put on the shoulders of a west Cleveland man following road repairs on his street. Today, we learned of new twists in the case.

It all goes back to Triskett Rd. being redone last year. There were sewer problems in Joe Aude’s basement after the work was done. “This is garbage. This is bulls**t!” said Aude as he pointed to the exposed dirt now surrounding his front yard.  “I shouldn’t have to go through this,” he added.

We were at his home in late June when repairs where finally made in front of Aude’s Triskett home. He said new catch basins ruined his sewer lines. Aude hired two plumbers who told him the problems were on the city’s property, but Aude and his plumber David Mayes heard differently from city crews. “It’s your problem. It’s on your side. It’s not on our side,” said Mayes explaining the conversation he had with city workers. However, Mayes said the issues was solely on city property.

Mayes charged Aude $14,000 for his work. Aude then fought with the city to get it to pay that bill and just a few days ago he got a new settlement letter from the city. It offered Aude $6500. However, Aude said he was also told he had to go after the contractors on his own if he wanted to get the rest of the money.  “It’s just been a great strain on me,” said Aude. “I’ve lost a lot of sleep over it and been sick to my stomach over it.”

At this point, Mayes has said the $6500 is not enough from the city. If it had offered $10,000 then he would have taken it just to be done with this problem.

NewsChannel 5 has been asking the city about Aude’s case for weeks and, late today, the city told us it was just the middle man in the construction. It said Triskett Rd. was an Ohio Department of Transportation led project. The city told us ODOT hied the contractor that put in the catch basins.

“I’m just a victim of circumstance,” Aude told us. “It’s like walking across the street and getting hit by a bus…I’ve been blindsided.”

ODOT told us this is the first that it’s heard of this problem and it will look into Aude’s claims.

We will stay on top of this and bring you any updates.