Former employee, inspection records show electrical problems at popular thrift store

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A popular Albuquerque thrift store is dealing with ongoing electrical problems that a former employee says have been going on for years.

“It’s definitely a problem. I’ve been running into these problems the whole two-and-a-half years that I’ve been there,” said Troy Tortorelli, a former maintenance worker at St. Vincent De Paul.

Troy says most of the issues he found were in the warehouse or on top of the building.

“There’s just a lot of wiring that hasn’t been properly installed,” said Tortorelli.

In a report from May, inspectors found a series of electrical issues at St. Vincent de Paul thrift store near Menaul and Carlisle. The report says inspectors found “substandard” wiring which could cause “fires,” “shocks or electrocution.” This report did not specify where in the building the issues were found.

“We are very cognizant of anything that looks out of place and repairing it,” said Timm Stubbs, the Chairperson of the Advisory Board for St. Vincent de Paul.

Stubbs says repairs are underway. Stubbs says before they could begin repairs, they needed to procure the funding. The funding came in right before the holiday shopping season began, so Stubbs says they decided to wait until after the season.

“It wasn’t a good time for us, retail-wise,” said Stubbs.

Tortorelli argues that leaders knew about the problems long before the May inspection, but Stubbs denies any “long-running” problems.

“I would hope that anyone that sees this or knows about it understands that we try to be as proactive as we can, maintaining the store, keeping the merchandise presentable, acceptable to the customers, displayed properly, proper cleanliness and safety,” said Stubbs.

On the day KRQE News 13 asked St. Vincent de Paul leaders about electrical issues, they had another inspector come out to the thrift store.

“The prior contractor did some repairs, minor repairs, and this new contractor found other issues and took care of them as well,” said Stubbs.

Stubbs insists most of the repairs were minor and that shoppers, employees and volunteers have no need to be worried.

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