TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The state Construction Licensing Board on Thursday heard dozens of cases against Cox Pools of the Gulf Coast. In the end, the board voted to revoke owner Hillary Bello’s “construction financial officer” license.
Scott Houser, the license holder for Cox Pools, lost all three of his construction licenses, despite pleas from his attorney that he shouldn’t be held responsible.
Customer Wesley Gadsen says he hopes these actions send a message to contractors who serve as license holders for other companies.
“You’re telling them that you have the right to work under my license, then it’s your responsibility to make sure they are working properly under your license,” Gadsden said.
The state presented 36 cases.
The board also ordered both Bello and Houser to pay restitution of a max of $15,000 for each impacted customer. State officials said consumers should also be able to seek money from the state construction recovery fund.
The attorney for Houser said after the hearing that he plans to appeal the decision on restitution, saying his client isn’t the one who should be responsible for paying it.
This action comes after Bello was arrested in Manatee County last month, charged with one felony count of contractor fraud. A spokesperson for Hillsborough County said they have an active criminal investigation.