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SEATTLE - Covington contractor John Mulinski is in court and feeling good. He's wearing his shades and that keeps the guy from noticing that the court is closed for lunch.

Why the attitude? Mulinski just found out that a judge in one of the major civil cases filed against him by Fred and Kathy Kohout granted a partial summary judgment in the contractor's favor.

But Mulinski is still facing criminal charges for contracting without a license in Washington and California.

I asked him about the charges in the Golden State and he was confident that he was on top of it.

They've all been dismissed - everything has been dismissed, he told me. Don't you know, Jesse?

Wrong. On the same day Mulinski was hit with 13 counts of construction malfeasance, including six counts of contracting without a license. Also five counts of entering an unlawful home improvement contract, diversion of funds, and failing to secure worker's compensation insurance.

So what about the charges in King County?

Again, Mulinski thought it was taken care of.

They've all been dismissed today, he said.

For some reason he believes that King County has dropped its two counts of contracting without a license filed against him. Really. Well, no one told that to Judge Chapman.

I do find probable cause for one count each for contracting without a license, he said in court.

Mulinski wasn't so bold coming out of court as he hid behind his newly acquired paperwork. He had no answers for my questions about the charges. Mulinski went down the stairs, through the hallway and into an elevator with a little old lady.

Originally, Mulinski wanted to take a ride in the courthouse elevator, but before the doors closed, he changed his mind and headed out through security and across the street.

I'm still curious if he is going to cough up the cash for people the state says who worked for him and never got paid some $25,000 in wages.

In the end, Mulinski wouldn't answer the most important question:

Should people trust you, Mr. Mulinski, that you will treat their home and money with respect? Can people trust you to do that?

If convicted on all charges in California and Washington, Mulinski faces 15 years in jail.

One more thing: Before you hire a contractor, check them out on the Labor and Industries Web site.

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