Seven Hills Councilman Joe Tripi called on kitchen cabinet controversy

Company found missing cabinets 16 months later

CLEVELAND - Joe Tripi is a man who wears many hats -- he's a Seven Hills Councilman, he's a Eucharistic Minister, and up until a few months ago, he owned General Building Products Corporation in Cleveland.

Unfortunately, Tripi recently had to sell his kitchen cabinet company, due to financial hardship.

It's a move Jim Frank, one of Tripi's customers, claims caused him to go without the kitchen cabinets he ordered, for more than 16 months.

"I paid him $600 to build three custom cabinets, I gave him the supplies, I gave him sketches," said Frank. "I gave him 3 shots to make it right, then he lost them, and then he wouldn't give me my money back."

Frank told NewsChannel5 he called and visited Tripi's company a dozen times, but claims some of his calls were ignored. Frank reports Tripi only offered him some leftover cabinets that wouldn't have worked in his kitchen.

"I would have thought being a Seven Hills councilman and a minister, that he would have done the right thing, but no such luck," said Frank.

NewsChannel5 Troubleshooter Joe Pagonakis visited Tripi's Cleveland office, and the councilman was extremely receptive.

Tripi's explained he's been going through some tough financial times, and immediately agreed to make good on the contract he had with Mr. Frank.

Tripi shook Frank's hand, apologized and told him he would finish the custom cabinet boxes within the next four weeks.

Tripi would later find the cabinets in an unexplored section of his 150,000 square foot warehouse, and contacted Frank by telephone.

Tripi showed NewsChannel5 how he is actively taking care of other customers, as he tries to wrap-up the final chapter of his cabinet business.

According to Tripi's biography on the City of Seven HIlls' website , Tripi is a past president of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, was a trustee of the Better Business Bureau and an active member of the Professional Remodelers of Ohio.

Meanwhile, Frank seemed pleased with the outcome.

"I just called him, and called him," explained Frank. "He was giving me the runaround until you showed up, and now he's decided he should do something about it."

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