Ogden headstone and monument company forced to shut down by city regulators
OGDEN, Utah —
(KUTV) After a long history of consumer complaints, the Ogden based monument company, Etched in Stone, is closed.
It is a company on which Get Gephardt has reported several times before. One such report came in 2014 after Debbi Kartchner and Sheila Garcia each demonstrated how the headstones they had purchased were not delivered by the contractually promised delivery date.
Etched in Stone is also no stranger to state regulators. Utah's division of consumer protection fined the company $6,000 last December for violating the Consumer Sales Practices Act.
“This is the third action the division has taken,” DCP Director Daniel O’Bannon says. "We've seen a pattern and that's why we took action.”
Etched in stone has been on the division’s ‘buyer beware’ list since 2007 for having not paid previous citations.
Now, at Ogden City Hall, city officials have revoked Etched in Stone’s business license, effectively forcing the company to shut its doors.
Etched in Stone appealed the suspension to the Ogden City mayor's office but to no avail. In a letter to the company obtained by Get Gephardt, Mayor Mike Caldwell wrote, "I agree with the basis for such suspension and therefore, decline to modify or reverse the administrative order."
Mayor Caldwell also specifically referenced the action taken by the Division of Consumer Protection in his letter.
In 2015, Etched in Stone Owner Wallace Burnside granted Get Gephardt an interview when we showed up at his office. Burnside did not return a call or text message for this story and, Friday afternoon, no one answered the door at the office.
Through the window, the office appears to be cleaned out and the back and side areas that once housed dozens of slabs and stones were vacant.
According to the order suspending Etched in Stone’s business license, Burnside can reapply for a business license after April 30, 2018.
Update: in the hours after this story was broadcast on 2News, Burnside responded, stating that he is insolvent and is closing his business.
He blames state and city regulators as well as the news media for his businesses failings.
Via text message he wrote, in part, “I will miss my customers who's (sic) custom art I have loved creating. However, I will not miss the self-important bureaucrats or news media who made it their un-appointed agenda to harm my business through relentless propaganda and by inventing multimedia reports against my character! The result being (sic) that it only caused further delays by drying up my finances; putting me even further behind. Free enterprise deserves the incentive & privacy to achieve, without the hobbling bias, accusations, and hindrances caused by these narcissistic people. The self-aggrandized media and local governance has (sic) yet again, overstepped where they were not invited, by spreading rumor and fear among the public. Thus, etched in stone design has been injured!” ed! (sic)."