Greater Sudbury Police arrested and charged EcoLife Home Improvements owner Dave Murray on April 23.
Murray has been embroiled in a slew of criticism dating back to early March, as frustrated EcoLife clients banded together to speak out about thousands of dollars worth of contracted jobs that had not been completed.
The criminal charges levied against Murray on Tuesday were not in relation to any of his clients however, as GSPS spokesperson Kaitlyn Dunn confirmed that Murray was charged with theft under $5,000 and trafficking stolen property.
The property in question allegedly belonged to David Beisel, a former sub-contractor who worked for Murray.
According to Beisel's mother, her son had been storing some of his tools in one of Murray's trailers back in December of 2018. In January, 2019, Murray allegedly drove the trailer full of Beisel's tools to North Bay and pawned the trailer — and its contents.
David Beisel and his mother made the trip from southern Ontario to Sudbury to meet up with Murray in January, before travelling to North Bay to retrieve the tools. It cost Beisel $860 to buy his tools back from the hock shop as he needed them for work.
"It was either we buy them back right then or wait for a police investigation and a court case, which could have taken up to a year," said Beisel's mother, Marj Beisel, in an interview with Sudbury.com.
The fallout from this led to some frustration for the Beisels, as Marj says they were passed back and forth between North Bay and Greater Sudbury, dealing with police services in both cities.
"This matter should have been dealt with by Sudbury Police initially instead of us being told (by GSPS) to contact North Bay Police because that's where the tools were hocked," said David Beisel.
"We had to drive to North Bay a second time to initialize this complaint. Cst. Udeschini in North Bay said she would try to solve the matter by having Dave Murray pay back the $860 and avoid a criminal charge. He agreed to that, but never sent any money. Every time she contacted him, he said he would be sending the money shortly."
More than three months after Beisel had bought back his tools, Murray was charged with theft under $5,000 and trafficking stolen property.
In an interview with Canadian Contractor, Beisel said he's ecstatic that his matter has been dealt with.
"It's been a long process," he said.
Murray is scheduled to appear in court in Sudbury to answer to the charges on May 29.