TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – When Olympus Pools, the subject of a four-month Better Call Behnken investigation, abruptly shut down earlier this week, hundreds of customers were left with unfinished pools and desperate for answers about how to finish their projects.
Pasco County government announced plans on Friday to waive permit fees for Olympus customers through the end of the year.
“We hope this action will help ease the financial burden on our customers who choose to seek other permitting options,” said Assistant County Administrator Sally Sherman.
Pasco officials gave Olympus Pools customers three options for open pool permits:
- Oversee the project yourself
- Hire a new, licensed pool contractor
- Cancel your pool permit
According the county’s news release, over the past two years, Olympus Pools has pulled hundreds of permits for pool projects in Pasco County, and most remain unfinished. Pasco Building Construction Services is working tirelessly to help customers work through the permitting process. More information is available on the county’s webpage.
Investigator Shannon Behnken reached out to other counties but so far no other county has announced similar actions in the wake of Olympus Pools closing.
Olympus Owner James Staten signed a settlement agreement with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on Monday. As part of the agreement, Staten voluntarily relinquished his license. That means the company – which was under investigation for collecting money for hundreds of pools and not completing the work – now can’t work on any of its open jobs.
This comes after hundreds of complaints from customers in seven Tampa Bay area counties. Many customers paid in full for pools that weren’t finished and many ended up with liens and foreclosure threats from subcontractors who claimed they weren’t paid for completed work on Olympus jobs.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office and several local law enforcement agencies have active criminal investigations into what went wrong at Olympus Pools.