Paving contractor is back, days after arrest

A paving contractor with a record of shady business practices is doing residential work in Myrtle Beach.

Tommy Clack was arrested by Florence police two days ago, but Friday, he was back in Myrtle Beach, still doing paving jobs.

Charles and Betty Launi, who live on Coteswood Drive, got quite a surprise while watching NewsChannel 15 Thursday, just hours after Clack had finished repaving their driveway.

"We were watching your TV, the 6:00 news, and while we're eating, we see his picture pop up and all kinds of things triggered off," Launi said.

Clack's mug shot was on NewsChannel 15, because he'd been charged in Florence with obtaining property under false pretenses.

NewsChannel 15 helped Mr. Launi get in touch with Florence police and the local Better Business Bureau.

"They told us about the shoddy work that he's been doing here. So we put a hold on our checks," Launi said.

Launi says the new asphalt on his driveway is already cracked, though Clack has offered to fix it.

Clack has quite a history in North Carolina, where he pleaded guilty in 2007 to numerous charges of not abiding by the state's law giving consumers three days to cancel a purchase.

He was also required to fix substandard paving jobs.

Clack told NewsChannel 15, that's just competitors with political connections pressuring the police to go after him, including the arrest warrant in Florence.

"They asked the chief of police to ask me not to pave anymore because they had a lot of friends in the same business that I'm in," Clack said.

As for the long list of Better Business Bureau complaints against him for deceptive practices, Clack says, that's also competitors going after him, because he doesn't belong to the BBB.

"If I do good enough work, I don't need to pay the Better Business Bureau to give me a good recommendation. My work should speak for itself and there is no shoddy work."

Clack admits he goes door to door to solicit business, but says that's no different than charities like the police or fireman's fund.

The state Labor, Licensing and Regulation department has a cease and desist order on him, but it only covers commercial business.

He can still do residential paving and says if he did bad work, people wouldn't keep hiring him.

"Nobody holds a gun to anyone's head."

But Charles Launi advises his neighbors, watch out for Clack, because he's a smooth talker, who misrepresents himself.

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"Stay away," Launi said.

Clack does have an up-to-date business license in Myrtle Beach.

15th Circuit Solicitor Greg Hembree says he's keeping a close eye on Clack, but unless someone has a criminal complaint against him, there's not much the solicitor can do.