Cheryl Avant
316 Knaebel Ln.,
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Date: _________
Lesha Bommel
Office of the Attorney General
Senior Advocate
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 899 | Jefferson City, MO 65102
Email: Lesha.Bommel@ago.mo.gov
Phone: (573) 751-8810
Fax: (573) 751-7948
RE: REBUTTAL TO THE OFFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Case No. CC-2022-04-000005

Respectfully,

Thus letter serves as my rebuttal and/or response to the response given by your office in the
referenced case.

Background

The subject matter of this complaint began in September 2021 when I hired Mr. John Birdno of
Birdno Handyman Service (hereinafter “Birdno”) to perform certain services including:
removing two one-unit bathtubs; installing two bathtubs and two bathtub surrounds; installing
one shower door; removing and installing two custom bathroom countertops; painting two small
bathrooms; and small projects as outlined in the contract. In our initial meeting on August 23,
2021, Birdno informed me that he was an insured and a licensed contractor. Birdno made further
representations including that: he had over ten years’ experience; his staff is licensed and has
over five years’ experience; his staff worked from around 9:15 am to 3:30 pm, Tuesday to
Friday; the cost for the project would be nowhere near $14,000 to $20,000 for materials and
labor; and that the "entire" project would take 4-5 days (approximately 30 person-hours; 1-2 days
for each bathroom, which is industry standard. Accordingly, under the impression that Birdno
was a professional as he claimed, I entered a contract with him for the aforesaid services.
Consequently, Birdno started the work. As agreed. However, later on, I realized that Birdno had
overcharged me. His staff ended up taking longer than earlier agreed, and had more people at the
project site than expected. For that reason, the cost for labor ended up being more than $8000,
and the project cost more than $14,000. Besides, some of the work done was sub-standard, which
therefore had to be redone 1 .

1 I have photo evidence of the damages.

Consequently, on or about March 18 th , I filed a Complaint letter to this office (the office of the
Attorney General). In the complaint, I made several averments. First, I alleged breach of
contract. I was overcharged by design. The staff was at my place for more than seven (7) hours. I
was also charged for items that were not in the contract, including going to store or dump
materials. Next, I alleged substandard work. Some of the work had to be redone. I therefore had
to undergo more expenses, which Mr. Birdno refused to compensate me for. Notably, I had to
replace tiles, caulk the kitchen counter, and ½ hour to put mud on the wall in the master
bedroom. Next, I alleged damages to the home. There was no “walk through”, the trim in the
master bedroom was cut without my consent, damage to the wall that was not brought to my
attention; the trim on the window is damaged, and the painting behind the toilet was not
complete. Mr. Birdno was also not truthful about his staff’s experience and licensure. The
contract (and verbally) clearly reads it should only take 4-5 day to complete the entire project; it
took more than twice the hours to complete 80% of the project.
I demanded a refund inter alia, for the cost of labor for repairs, material cost for repairs, cost to
replace damaged items, damaged custom countertop, and punitive damages.
Consequently, on April 7, 2022, Mr. Birdno’s filed a response, to my complaint. He not only
threatened me but accused me of extortion and harassment to someone I do not know, have never
met, and have never tried to contact. In the response, Birdno claimed that inter aloa, my claims
are ludicrous; I was constantly involved in the project, which distracted his team; that the parties
had agreed that the project takes four to five days for completion at no more than 7 hours per
day; that I instead breached the contract by having another party finish up the work; he does not
work with a fixed pricing; and that I prevented Birdno’s staff from cleaning up the mess.
On or about April 15, 2022, you sent me a response. In the response, your office held that since
Birdno had denied any wrong-doing, your office would not provide me any relief.
Accordingly, to this end, I need to understand why your office failed to address any of the
concerns in my Complaint letter, especially since I submitted pictures to confirm the allegations
and damages. The math for 4-5 or 6 days is a little over $4,000, which would have been in line
with the verbiage quote, and according to the contract. Most importantly, I find it concerning
why you did not question Mr. Birdno’s accusation that I harassed someone by the name of Ms.
Robinson. In my March 18 complaint to Mr. Birdno (letter), I felt I was being fair when I
requested a refund/compensation of $2294.88because Mr. Birdno refused to address my
concerns, my initial complaint to your office included a request for the difference between what I
was quoted in terms of hours, standard industry, and the number of hours it took to complete
80% of the project.
Accordingly, I shall address each of Mr. Birdno responses in the order of his rebuttal.

Argument(s)

First, during our second meeting on November 15, 2021, Mr. Birdno informed me that the
business was initially Birdno Home Improvement and that his father later stepped down. As a

result of his father stepping down, he and his brother Scott Birdno took over the business. He
later shared that Scott left the business for two reasons:
i. Scott would up-sale services that he (John) did not know about, which ended in a higher
bill for his customers. He provided a specific example in the presences of one of his
workers that for one project, his customer was initially given a quote of $8,000 but ended
up more than $12,000 because of the “up sale
ii. He did not get along with Scott’s wife and she talked too much.
He informed me that his dad was really ill and that his sister was trying to auction off his dad’s
stuff and that Scott would get the house because he built it and it is now worth $750,000. When I
spoke with Mr. Birdno the morning of March 18 th 2022 (in person), he informed me that Scotty
was taking over the entire business and the he (John Birdno) was going to take over his dad’s tax
preparing business (because all he had to do is punch a few buttons). He also stated that his dad
was not charging enough so he was going to increase the fees by 45%.
I appreciate Mr. Birdno acknowledging his license. I could not locate it via the state register. I
contacted the Missouri Division of Professional Registration. Their response in part reads:
“The Missouri electrical contractors is an optional license for the state. It is not
required to obtain a statewide license for electrical in Missouri. We only offer a
statewide electrical contractors license. We do not license plumbers. If an
electrician does not obtain a statewide license, they are required to follow the
rules and statue of the local politician subdivisions (city or county) on their
licensee requirement. We do not have a John Birdno in our system as an
license electrical license for the state. If you are wanting to file an complaint,
please see the link below for the complaint form on our webpage.
https://pr.mo.gov/electricalcontractors-complaint-forms.asp .
In terms of documenting hours, I miss-calculated one time, and Mr. Birdno miscalculated more
than one time which can be validated via text messages. I always asked him to validate the hours.
To this end, I was not trying to cheat him out of what was owed to him, and when he
miscalculated, I did not see this as a big deal because he corrected it before I paid him, and I did
not believe it was done with malice. So, I don’t understand the importance of this.
Mr. Birdno stated there were constant distractions. However, he never raised any concerns about
the alleged distractions. I never separated his team to have them perform other small tasks.
Again, Mr. Birdno never brought this to my attention especially in a text or email. Anything that
I asked of him or Scott Birdno to do was outlined in the contract, including small projects per the
home owner.
As Mr. Birdno stated, the contract states 4-5 days for the entire project. Because of lack of
experience and having to redo some of the work, it took more than 30 person-hours to complete
80% of the project. Why is this not being questioned? When Mr. Birdno and I met in August
2021 and November 2021, he informed me the bathrooms would only take 1 to 2 days each (if
no complication). There were no complications. Mr. Birdno did have to adjust some pipes in the

hall bathroom. This task took him 45 minutes. The extension of the closet (which they brought to
my attention) and repairing the "lump" on the east wall in the living room that was left by
another contractor were the only items that might be viewed as out of the ordinary. In calculating
the hours required to complete both tasks, it was less than one day. The question continues, why
it took 10-15 days to complete a 5-to-6-day project (factoring in the closet extension, readjusting
the pipes, and smoothing out the lump over the patio door in the living room).
Mr. Birdno stated it is impossible to provide a solid price. Contrary to his assertions, it is
possible to prove the number of hours or days it would take to complete the main project 1-2
days per bathroom, which can be verified by the contract and quotes I still have from other
contractors and television advertisements (less than a day).
In terms of staff being at my home for more than seven hours, sometimes they would leave for
lunch or leave, and I did not know they were gone. The point here is that they were at my home
for more than 7 hours which is a breach of the contract.
In terms of line 8, Mr, Birdno’s team was to repair three area of popcorn in the living room and
the MBR bathroo, where there was a leak. The leak had been repaired (by a roofer) but there
were water stains. Mr. Birdno even informed me that he would get on the roof to ensure the leak
was properly repaired; this did not happen. Most importantly, I never had a conversation with
Mr. Birdno about “popcorning” in the entire living or the foyer by the front door. In fact, the
other contractor DID NOT repair the areas in the living room. He left me with a can of spray
paint to spray paint the water stain, which I showed Robert (the painter). Further, the stains are
still visible in both the living and bathroom (where they were to repair and paint). So, there was
no breach of contract for popcorn repair. Most importantly, there were unwarranted delays, Mr.
Birdno did not return when he said he would, and the contract does not state he was exclusive.
Further, because of the delays and the subpar work, he cannot tell me who can and cannot come
to my home.
Mr. Birdno mentioned damages in my home, but he was not specific. During the assessment,
there was no conversation of other damage other than what was outlined in the contract. Within
his response he did not specific anything because this was not true. However, I provided more
than 20 pictures to show the damage (even the train on the floor) by Mr. Birdno’s team.
Mr. Birdno further accused me of extortion. Contrary to his assertions, there is nothing in the
complaint email or letter that remotely appears to be extortion. I never told Mr. Birdno that
another contractor wanted to charge me $11,000. I told him another contractor wanted to charge
$14,000, while the other wanted to charge $21,000. I have both written quotes. I spend more than
$14,000 working with Mr. Birdno and it is important to note, he was not the cheapest.
Further, regarding the hall bathtub; in terms of the pipes, Mr. Birdno informed me that they
needed to be adjusted because of the soaker tub. It took him 45 minutes to work on the pipes,
which can be verified where he charged me for his time. This did not take hours or days and I
have pictures of the pipes. Mr. Birdno further states that there was additional labor, material and
time, yet, he was not specific. As shared, and per the contract, he informed me it would take a
total of 4-5 days for the entire project. He is not and has not address the fact that it took his team

more than twice the time that was quoted and according to the contract. Most important, as
shared, I could not get other contractors to come out once the work was started. Regarding the
damages, I specifically aver that:
i. I make no reference to the patch of popcorn that came off the ceiling in the MBR
bathroom. I am referring to the corner of the hall bathroom. This was clearly stated in my
January 24 th complaint (email) to Mr. Birdno. The corner of the bathroom had to be
redone because it was not correctly sprayed with the popcorn. Robert stated that it had to
be rewet and re-sprayed.
ii. Steve cut my new tile in the hall bathroom because he was negligent. I had three choices,
remove and replace all the title, do nothing and accept the fact that there would be one
mismatch tile, or remove a few tiles and replace them to create some kind of pattern. I
elected for the third option for which I was charged.
iii. The painting (Ethan) in the kitchen was subpar. This is demonstrated on picture evidence.
iv. Ethan worked on trying to align my back door for more than 45 minutes. Not only did he
not fix the problem but he left the stripes outside on the ground.
v. There is damaged to my brand-new Countertop in the hall bathroom and brand-new
window trim (February 2022) in the MBR (pictures were submitted) because of
negligence.
There is nothing in the contract that read I would be charged $45.00 for Mr. Birdno to shop.
Further, during our November meeting, he informed me he does not charge for his time (he
informed me that he was the supervisor). Mr. Birdno does not know my experience what other
contractors; as shared, I have never had a contractor charge me a dumping fee. Mr. Birdno stated
he did not charge to perform the dump, he charged me $35.00 for Ethan to perform the dump.
This can be verified via text, the complaint, and the check I wrote that week (my concerns were
written on the check). Mr. Birdno breeched the contract. I felt I had not choice but to pay this.
Regarding the License, before I hired Mr. Birdno, I asked him if his staff was licensed. He
informed me that his worker (Steve) was licensed. If I would have known Steve was not
licensed, I would have never allowed Steve to conduct electrical work; most importantly it was
not inspected by Mr. Birdno. Now, I have to worry whether the electrical work was done
correctly according to industry standards. I had no idea (but it makes sense with the amount of
time it took, the mistakes, and damage) that I paying for an apprentice. The hourly rate that I was
charged is for someone who had experience and a license. Steve should have been directly
supervised and the electrical work should have been inspected. During the first two weeks of the
start of the project, Mr. Birdno shared that he would be working on his daughters’ home.
In January of 2021, in searching Mr. Birdno’s Facebook page, I saw two complaints. One person
complained that he did not return phone calls, while another person complained about the work.
His response to this person was that that person no longer worked for him. Mr. Birdno did not
initially introduce Steve (the no licensed person) as a supervisor. Mr. Birdno informed me that he
(Mr. Birdno) was the supervisor, even when we met in November, 2021.
I never stopped his crew from cleaning up. Why would I have complained about the team not
cleaning in the email complaint if this was true. And if it were true, why did he not respond to

those complaints? Because his team did not initially follow SOP, there was an excessive amount
of dust all over my living room, living room furniture, down the hall, and the bedroom across the
from the hall bathroom. Steve told me to just turn on the ceiling fan. I eventually covered the
living with my towels and sheets as stated in my complaint to Mr. Birdno. The way in which his
team left my home in January can be verified. After six weeks of watching, I cleaned it up
myself.
Over the course of the project, a few times, Mr. Birdno incorrectly added up some of the hours,
which he did correct before I paid him. I did not make a big deal. I believe I miscalculated once
which was ratified before I paid him. Each week, I would ask him to check for any
discrepancies, which can be verified via text messages. I was not aware the last check for
incorrect. Mr. Birdno could have brought this to my attention as he had in the past. As shared in
my initial complaint to you (AGO), I thought him team were coming back to finish up that
following Monday because of the glue left on the bathroom floor (picture). Also as demonstrated
in the pictures, the trim was damaged, the bathroom door was not properly reinstalled, the door
stop was not replaced, the wall behind the toilet was damage and not repaired (there was no
damage before the project), the painting was not complete behind the toilet, and the trim for the
surround was not properly installed; it was not flushed to the floor like the first surround. I have
pictures. I noticed this after his team left.
I did not breach the contract by having other contractors in my home. Mr. Birdno has no
authority to tell me who I can have in my home, especially giving his delays. I paid Mr. Birdno
because I had no choice. Mr. Birdno states "if I had so much trouble, why did I not opt of the
contract and pursue another team" yet he mentioned I was trying to pursue another team.
The attachment Mr. Birdno included does not include a date; it was January 11, which is how I
felt at the time. The email complaint was forwarded to Mr. Birdno on January 24 th , which he
failed to address. He set up times for us to meet but he failed to show up. Within the January 11 th
attachment, I did bring to Mr. Birdnos attention my concern with the time it was taking to
complete the project. He failed and refused to fully address my concerns.
I never stated…."belonged in a magazine." That is not even written in the January 11 attachment.
Mr. Birdno did not select the bathtubs, the surround, shower door or counter top. Further, the tile
was already there. In essence, they did not “design” the upgrade.
Within the January 11 th attachment, it reads in part……thanks again for all you and your crew
have tone and noticed.” This was in reference to the extended closet, crack in my office (wall by
the sliding door), the number of columns on my front porch, and the knockdown pattern.
In terms of his other client (Ms. Robinson), as written in my complaint, he informed me that
project would take 2-3 weeks; it did not. He also stated that his workers were tired of going to
Ms. Robinson’s home. I never stated I felt I was, "shoved aside for a white woman." Mr. Birdno
did not state when and who I supposedly made this statement to and I don’t speak like that.
Besides, if he found this alarming, he never raised any concern. Most importantly, I don’t know
who she is, I don’t know where she lives, and I never had her phone number. I only knew her as

Ms. Robinson. Birdino’s averments are all false allegations, which I am grateful that Mr. Birdno
put in writing.
On that note, Mr. Birdno wrote in part “if you’d like to call her (Ms. Robinson) and actually see
what kind of real contractors that I am, please do”. This implies the work that was done at my
home was subpar and validates my arguments and complaint. This also implies I was treated
different and the question becomes was there ever a delay in the work at her home?
Mr. Birdno has an ulterior motivative for the false allegations. I did not pass along some
information about his brother (Jason Birdno) to social justice agencies or individuals. John
Birdno told me that his brother Jason was in prison for a crime he did not comment (touching his
own daughter). He said several years ago his niece told him that her mom "coached" her into
saying what she said; that it had to do with her (the mother) wanting money from Jason Birdno’s
pension/retirement (I don’t remember which). He stated that his niece told him that she was
going to tell the truth so her dad could get out of prison. However, she was not able to because
she unfortunately died in an auto accident. I said that was awful and that sometimes social justice
agencies will look at cases like this and that I don’t mind sharing a summary of the case to some
of the social justice agencies and individuals. I also shared I don’t remember reading anything
about this in Cole County; he stated, they were able to keep in out. For more than three months, I
requested the summary and even shared with him what to include (a summary of the case, the
findings, and verdict). After two months, I gave him two deadlines; he did not submit the
summary by the two deadlines. This can all be verified via text messages and email.
About a month before he finally submitted the summary, he told me he had a copy of the
transcripts of the deposition, I informed him that this is not what I asked and that nobody is
going to initially review a deposition. I reminded him that I needed a summary to pass along. I
also reminded him that nothing is guaranteed. He told me he already had a room for his bother
and he told his dad that I was going to share the information with some folks. I asked him why
would he do this; again, there are no guarantees and I am a very private person. He said because
he was excited (in the presences of one of his workers).
Upon reading the summary, he did not include all that I asked, he included informed that was not
germane to the case, and there was conflicting information (based on what he verbally shared
with me). He informed me that his brother Jason Birdno was in prison because he was accused of
touching his daughter, not for five counts sodomy. He never shared that they had already tried to
appeal the decision. And he never shared that his brother was sentences to 200 years. Finally, he
did not state that his niece was contemplating coming forward. Because what he shared with me
verbally and what he put in writing did not match, I decided not to share the summary with
anyone. The week before the last day his team was at my home, Scott Birdno said, "oh, Johnny
wanted to know if you received the email." At that time, I had not read it, which I did state.
Because Mr. Birdno has the nerve to make false statement about me harassing a client, and that
"they" (he was not specific) were going to file a complaint against me, there is no telling what he
is capable of doing. I am now afraid to leave my house and have put in some security measures.

As the attorney general office, it would appear you would investigate my allegations, especially
since I was able to produce pictures of the damages and subpar work. The only evidence Mr.
Birdno provided was a document from January 11 (which does not include a date), although you
have a copy of the complaint email dated January 24 th . I am again requesting the attorney
general’s office for assistance.

Remedies

In light of the foregoing, and as set forth in my initial complaint letter, I am entitled to the
following remedies for Birdno’s blameworthy conduct as alleged hereinabove:
i. $366 –
Based on Ms. Birdno’s “professional” advice, I waited to order the two surrounds; because of the
wait, the items cost $366 more.
ii. Refund
Here, I seek a refund of what I paid over $4000,00, which is $4312.00. Mr. Birdno states he
could not give a definitive price. However, per the contract, the entire project would take 4-5
days; it took more than 10, which was not a result of alternating the pipes (.45 mins), the delay in
the other bathtub from Menards, or the closet extension (total of 6 hours). This can also be
verified by the quotes I received from local contractors, and two national company (no more than
4 days). Even at $110.00 a day (6 hours x $110.00 is $660.00). $660.00 x 6 days (closet
extension, smooth out the lump in the living room, and .45 minutes on the pipes) is
approximately $3960 round; $4,000 was verbally quoted and in line with the contract and other
quotes. I paid more than $8000.00 in labor. The over-all cost is nowhere near what the contractor
reads or Mr. Birdnos verbal quote or no more than 1-2 days per bathroom.
iii. Cost of labor for repairs –
I will need to hire someone to repaint the wall in the MBR; it appears the paint bled (Robert),
adjust bathtub temperature, repair door trim – lots of fresh gouges, replace trim in the MBR
bathroom because it was cut without my knowledge or permission, flush the tile in the hall
bathroom (some of the tile are still not lined up), which was a result of Steve cutting one of the
tiles; some had to be replaced. Pictures were previously forwarded to prove the damages.
Further, Mr. Birdnos team left glue on the floor, which I had to clean up. I already sent pictures, I
also have a video to prove this (clean-up). In addition to the damage, the trim for the second
surround was improperly installed; it is not flush to the floor like the first surround and the faucet
was properly installed. For example, hot water is cold and cold is hot. Further, as shared, Mr.
Birdno’s team damaged the trim on the brand-new window in the MBR. The window and trim
were installed on February 21 2022.

iv. Material cost for repairs
I need a refunfd for trim for MBR bathroom, paint, wood filler, sander, hook, buttons, oops (for
painting), rags, plastic.
v. Cost to replace damaged items
I need a refund of the clock (I already purchased it. I waited two months for Mr. Birdno to
replace the clock; it was a brand-new clock, extension cord (was inadvertently taken),
miniature trains, candles, glass for the picture in the hall, tile in the hall bathroom (mentioned in
the March 18 th letter where Steve cut the tile).
vi. Damaged custom countertop
I will need the counter top to be replaced or repaired. I should not have to settle with repairing a
brand-new custom countertop because Mr. Birdno’s staff was negligent. As shared in the
complaint to Mr. Birdno, his team placed heavy equipment in the sink; they failed to cover it.
The countertop was $450.00. It’s important to note that Mr. Birdno picked up the counter tops (I
was not charged). In one text message, he informed me he was on his way to pick up the
countertops; this was not true. I did not discover this until days later.
vii. Punitive damages
I had to rearrange my schedule several times because his staff did not show up when he told me
they would (I have text messages to prove this); Mr. Birdno ignored many of my requests, and he
was sometimes rude. It was impossible for me to hire another contractor because no one wanted
to "come behind him." So, I was stuck with him and his staff until the major project (bathtub
replacement) was completed. Most importantly, Mr. Birdno has now turned this into a case of
slander/defamation and I am afraid of what he might do.
I also aver that Mr. Birdno needs to be investigated, held accountable, and exposed. Specifically,
the investigation should focus on:
i. Whether he adheres to all his contracts;
ii. Whether he charges others to go to the store;
iii. Whether he charge others to dump material;
iv. Whether he is licensed – When does his license expire and where is the paper work to
demonstrate that Steve was working under his license; and why this was not disclosed;
v. What experience his staff has and how long have they been working for him;
vi. Given he is now preparing taxes, the IRS should investigate his knowledge, experience,
and credentials; and
vii. Whether there were delays in the work at Ms. Robinson.

Conclusion

In sum, I maintain that Mr. Birdno is liable as averred herein, and in my initial Complaint letter
to your office. For that reason, it is in the interest of justice that you consider, investigate, and
determine my case against Mr. Birdno.

Sincerely,

_________________
Cheryl Avant

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