EBENSBURG, Pa. – A Johnstown area contractor entered a plea Friday in Cambria County court for accepting $31,400 from a Jackson Township couple in June 2018 for home improvement work that was never performed, authorities said.

Colin O’Donnell, 35, who was doing business as O’Donnell Contracting LLC, entered a guilty plea on two counts of disorderly conduct before Judge Tamara R. Bernstein and was sentenced to a maximum of 90 days probation.

O’Donnell’s attorney, John B. Lovette III, said that an employee embezzled a large amount of money from the contracting company and that O’Donnell was in “over his head” keeping up with expenses of materials and contracted work.

Bernstein said she made her ruling based on the fact that O’Donnell “stepped up to the plate” both to make restitution and by making a public apology.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Jackson Township police, O’Donnell contracted with a Moshannon Drive couple to build an addition with work to begin in August 2018.

The contractor cashed the check that June, but no work was started.

O’Donnell told the couple that delays were the result of scheduling issues with the engineer and designer, permit delays and inclement weather, according to the criminal complaint.

At the time of the incident, police said they determined that no building materials were purchased and no permits were obtained through the township. 

Katie Smolen is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @KSmolen1230.

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