CHICAGO (CBS) — Who do you go to for help when a village mayor stiffs you on a bill? And the work and custom materials were for the police department.
One local businessman faced that problem recently, then he called CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini for help.
Jake Zaagman, better known by his company name “Jake the Striper” says he was ripped off.
The culprit: the Village of Stickney.
Zaagman says he was hired to make and apply custom decals for new Stickney squad cars. Work he says he has done for the police department for 25 years.
He says this time village officials, including newly elected Mayor Jeff Walik, refused to pay him.
“I’m upset. Who wouldn’t be upset if somebody took $1,500 bucks right out of your pocket and said, ‘I’m not going to pay you,'” says Zaagman.
He says two decal kits were ordered, one with a special reflective design called a ghost kit that reflects at night to protect officers in the dark.
He adds that it also was a rush job.
But an hour before he was going to apply the decals, Zaagman says the custom order was cancelled and he was left with the materials.
“All the graphics are meant for one police department and one police department only,” said Zaagman showing the decals that say ‘Stickney.’ “They stuck it to me good.”
Zaagman says it is the first time in the decades of running this business that he has ever been stiffed on a police bill.
He’s applied decals to hundreds of thousands of Chicago Police squads, Cook County Sheriff cars and numerous suburban vehicles.
All paid their bill. Except Stickney.
“I don’t think you want to buy stuff from people and not pay them for it,” said Zaagman.
Zaagman says he even offered to cut a deal: asking Stickney to just pay for the custom materials at a discount. But they still refused.
CBS 2 spoke with the mayor and a police official and told them we had the e-mails showing they ordered the custom graphics.
After three months of refusing the mayor quickly agreed to pay Jake the Striper.
They settled on an amount and the mayor said there was a miscommunication that is all resolved.