When the Defenders took part in a sting by the Texas Department of Licensing and Renewal to catch unlicensed contractors, Valentine Silvas was one of the people caught.
It was in November when Silvas bid on a job that required a master licensed contractor. He was not a master, but just a licensed journeyman electrician.
The state confirmed that Silvas did not have a contractor’s license or insurance. When the Defenders approached him, he said he was going to get the necessary license.
This week, the Defenders received this email from Silvas, saying he did as he promised:
“a month ago you ran a defenders titled 'unlicensed and busted' I was the one that you and TDLR caught and im proud to say i now hold (as of 12.9.13) my Journeymans License (since i was 22yrs old), Master Electrician License, Electrical Contractors licensed and Electrical Sign contractor license at my young age of 28. ... and i paid my FINE from TDLR of $1000 Cash... .. im up and running again and just want to say thanks for the extra push to get all my credentials in order ....yes i was a licensed Electrican and yes i had a 2 million dollar policy at the time yall "busted me" but still needed that little push..yes, it cost me money and some minor stress but it worked out for the best...I love this city and will give back to it...."
The Defenders checked with the TDLR and found that everything Silvas said is true.
Tony Couvillon, legal assistant with the TDLR’s Enforcement Division, wrote in an email:
“Yes, everything Mr. Silvas reported to you in his email is correct. He has been licensed as a journeyman electrician since 2008 and he obtained his master electrician, electrical contractor, and electrical sign contractor licenses this month. He also paid in full the $1,000 penalty assessed against him.”
Silvas declined an on-camera interview with the Defenders regarding his change in status.