Accused unlicensed contractor sues Pinellas County Licensing Board over fine - SaintPetersBlog

Accused unlicensed contractor sues Pinellas County Licensing Board over fine

A Brandon contractor is suing the county licensing board after being fined for performing home repairs without a license.

The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board is the Largo-based independent agency that regulates construction contractors. The Board issues licenses, monitors insurance coverage, approves building codes and finds violators for noncompliance.

The board has recently been a target of a series of investigative articles by the Tampa Bay Times accusing the Board’s leadership of playing “fast and loose” with its disciplinary process and operations.

Various Pinellas legislators, as well as a Times editorial, suggested several reforms, ranging from naming a new director with an outsider to entirely dismantling the agency.

Claude W. Peterman III and Claude W. Peterman Jr. are manager and assistant manager, respectively, of Claude Peterman Construction. Although it incorporated in May 2015, as of Sept. 23, 2016, the company was administratively dissolved for failing to file an annual report.

On its Facebook page, Peterman says it provides: “Complete home remodels, new kitchen remodel, Bathroom remodels, Interior & Exterior painting, Tile, Laminate wood floors, Carpet.”

A search on the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) website shows no record of an active contractor’s license for Claude Peterman Construction.

Court records suggest Brandon resident Claude William Peterman III, 26, is the son of 62-year-old-Claude Peterman Jr.

With several short stints in Florida prisons, Claude William Peterman Jr. had been arrested in 2002 with a blood alcohol content well above the legal limit with the report saying it was his ninth DUI arrest. most recently Peterman served five months in 2014 for driving, despite his permanently revoked license, and a “fourth or subsequent” DUI, as well as an attempt to flee police.

On Nov. 23, 2014, Peterman was released from custody — about six months before he and Claude Peterman III launched Claude Peterman Construction.

An arrest report dated Jan. 6, 2014, shows Peterman Jr. identifying as self-employed in the remodeling business.

According to court records, Claude Peterman Construction did unspecified home-remodeling work in either 2015 or 2016 at a 2,963-square-foot, single-family Clearwater home at 2584 Deer Run E. The home was purchased in December 2016 by Edgar and Vanessa Sherlock. It was previously owned by We Buy Tampa Bay Real Estate LLC.

An investigation by Paul Roberts, the Board’s designated agent, determined that the company was unlicensed.

The ruling resulted in a $634 penalty from the Licensing Board dated Jan. 10, 2017. Costs include a $500 fine, investigative time, postage and other miscellaneous expenses.

In a Feb. 6 filing to the Licensing Board Administrative Special Magistrate, Claude Peterman and Claude Peterman Construction are appealing the fine. However, court documents do not indicate a reason why the fine should be revoked.

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