OKLAHOMA CITY - Prominent Defense Attorney Tony Coleman accuses a local plumber of shoddy work, and he says city code inspectors should have caught it.

Coleman said he hired Plumber Gabriel Singleton to re-do the plumbing in a 12-unit Northeast Oklahoma City apartment complex. Coleman is turning the complex into sober living units.

Coleman said city inspectors should have not approved the substandard job done by Singleton.

Coleman showed News 9 cellphone video from April 23, of water leaking from a first-floor light fixture. 

Singleton claimed, “What was leaking was actually the toilet overflowing upstairs and running through the ceiling.”

Coleman said that is a ridiculous claim, and that Singleton did a very poor job, which has caused water damage to other units. 

“We’re uncovering a lot,” said Coleman. 

A City spokesperson emailed News 9 a statement that reads in part:

“Mr. Coleman hired a new contractor to make the repairs and take over the original contractor’s original permits. The original contractor received a Notice of Violation, there had been no previous issues with this contractor.” 

In another statement emailed to News 9, the City said:

"The City hires inspectors to check electrical, mechanical, plumbing and building code work done by contractors.

If we would have known changes were made to the plumbing system after our final inspection, we would have re-inspected the work and discovered the leak. This would have resulted in a huge savings in time and money for the contractor and owner. Since a reinspection was not requested, we issued a notice of violation to the contractor for concealing work prior to inspection. "

They also added the following:

THE WHOLE STORY

Following an email from Mr. Coleman, we conducted a re-inspection of the apartments and found what appeared to be changes made to the plumbing system after the final inspection had been completed. The drain lines were tested and inspected on the original plumbing work. We interviewed the original contractor who admitted and confirmed there had been additional plumbing work done on the drain lines following the tests and inspections. In this case, after the inspections were completed the property owner made a change in design and asked the plumber to remove bath tubs and replace them with showers.  

It was explained to Mr. Coleman that our procedure is to require the contractor that did the work, to return and make the needed corrections.  He said he did not want to have that particular contractor do anymore work on his property. Mr. Coleman hired a new contractor to make the repairs and take over the original contractors remaining permits.

The original contractor received a Notice of Violation, there had been no previous issues with this contractor. The violation that occurred was concealing work prior to an inspection.

The work our inspectors do is for the benefit of all involved. If this had been called back in for the additional inspection that was required following the changes, our inspector would have required another drain test and inspection. The leak would have been discovered at that time resulting in a huge savings in time and money for the contractor and owner. This is a good example of why property owners should ensure contractors that they hire, obtain required permits and inspections for all work they do.

Coleman said the situation remains unresolved. In fact, Tuesday morning, Coleman replied to the city's statement by adding that what the city is claiming is not true. He said he did not change the plans on the contract after the first city inspection -- and Coleman added that he has the evidence to prove it.

“Right now, the City has failed us, they failed us miserably, but the concern is who else is being subjected to this right now? I’m extremely concerned about that. Why has this passed, when clearly it isn’t up to code. They’ve already admitted in their response interestingly enough that they’ve issued a citation to Mr. Singleton. The problem we have is they’re telling me the maximum that they’re going to do to him right now is just issue him a violation, which is basically a slap on the wrist,” said Coleman.