June 14, 2006
The regular meeting of the Santa Rosa County Building Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals was held June 14, 2006, at 3:00 p.m. in the conference roomof the Santa Rosa
CountyBuilding Inspection Department located at 6051 Old Bagdad Highway, Milton, FL 32583. Board members present were Mr.Danny Holt, Chairman;Mr. William J. Blackman, Mr. James “Larry” Halland Mr. Frank Harold.
Building Inspection Department staff in attendance was Mr. Tim Tolbert, Building Official; Mrs. Rhonda Royals, DeputyBuilding Official; Mr. Skip Tompkins, Compliance Division Superintendent;Mr. Randy Jones, Compliance Investigator; Mr. Bobby Burkett, Compliance Investigatorand Mrs. Robyn Leverton, Administrative Assistant I.
Mr. Tom Dannheisser, County Attorney, was present forthe meeting.
Mr. Danny Holt, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.
The “Formal Hearing” portion of these minutes can be obtained verbatim from Associated Court Reporters.
Approval of Agenda:
Mr. Blackman made a motion to accept the agenda. Mr. Hallseconded the motion. The motion carried witha unanimous vote.
Approval of Minutes:
Mr. Harold made a motion to approve the minutes from the May10, 2006 meeting. Mr. Blackmanseconded the motion. The motion carried witha unanimous vote.
The next regularly scheduled meeting is Wednesday, July12, 2006, at 3:00 p.m. in the Building Inspection Department Conference Room.
Old Business (Formal Hearing)
John & Theresa Shoemaker, Keith & Tracy Tucker and Herbert “Mike” Campbell
vs. Steven Brett Currence d/b/a Dolphin Custom Homes
Rhonda read the charges for each case. The charges are as follows: (For complaint issued by Keith & Tracy Tucker-7681 North Shores Dr., Navarre, FL) Alleged Violations of
Florida Statute 489.113(4)(b),Florida Statute 713.35 and Florida Statute 713.345; (For complaint issued by John & Theresa Shoemaker-7926 Sleepy Bay Boulevard and Herbert
Campbell-2367 Reservation Road) Alleged Violations of Florida Statute 489.113(4)(b), Florida Statute713.345.
Rhonda stated that we have received correspondence regarding these three formal hearings from Mr. Currence’s attorney, H. Wesley Reeder with the law firm of Emmanuel,
Sheppard & Condon. He wanted to advise the Board that “Mr. Currence, while not admitting to the violations, does not contest the violations which are the subject of the hearing[s]. Furthermore, Mr.Currence agrees to accept the Board’s decision regarding his right to pull permits pursuant to Chapter 489.113(4), (b), Florida Statutes”.
Per Mr. Tom Dannheisser, the action the Board will take is whether to find him guilty of the charge and if found guilty, deny him the ability to pull permits in Santa Rosa County.
The homeowners were asked if they wanted to make a brief comment to the Board.
Mr. Tony Simpson, attorney for the Shoemaker’s, spoke on their behalf. Mr. Simpson stated that he was representing the Shoemakers in a civilaction that they have pending
against Dolphin Homes and Mr. Currence. He said, “We would ask that the Board make a specific finding of abandonment as well as fraud, mismanagement.”
Mr. Herbert “Mike” Campbell asked that Mr. Currence’s ability to pull permits for this county be permanently rejected and for the Board to elevate this case to the Department of
Business and Professional Regulation level.
Mr. Keith Tucker stated that his opinion of fraud still stands and requests the Board prove fraud so case can be moved up to the next level with DBPR.
Mr. Blackman made a motion to find Steven Brett Currence guilty of fraud for all three (3) cases. Mr. Hall seconded the motion. Without any further discussion the motion carried
with a unanimous vote.
Mr. Harold made a motion that Mr. Currence’s ability to pull permits in Santa Rosa County be permanently denied. Mr. Blackman seconded the motion. Without any further
discussion the motion carried with a unanimous vote.
Mr. Harold made a motion to recommend that DBPR investigate the case and take appropriate action regarding the state license of Mr. Currence. Mr. Blackman seconded the
motion. Without any further discussion the motion carried with a unanimous vote.
Old Business (Formal Hearing)
Santa Rosa County vs.Kevin M Case d/b/a Collins and Associates
Rhonda Royals updated the Board regarding the case. This is a case that Santa Rosa County brought up against Mr. Case’s roofing contractor license. He is a State Certified
Roofing Contractor,license #CCC057619. The Board previously heard this case on February 8, 2006 and voted to carry forward to a formal hearing in regards to alleged violations of Santa Rosa County Ordinance 2002-06 Section 16, Paragraph 9 (d) and 2001 Florida Building Code, sections 105.6 and 1503.1. Santa Rosa County alleges that Mr. Case’s company failed to call in for the required inspections, failed to properly install shingles per manufacturer’s instructions and has allowed code violations to continue to exist at multiple locations. She stated that we did hear from Mr. Case; he would not be in attendance today.
Randy Jones reviewed the case with the Board. He said this case was generated out of one of the few inspections that Collins and Associates obtained. There were some
discrepancies noted with the fastening of the shingles. Those discrepancies were brought before this Board as an appeal. The Board left the decision up to the County as to how to handle the discrepancies. He met (on the jobsite), with a representative ofCollins and Associates, several days after that meeting, identified the problems, discussed solutions and they (Collins and Associates) were going to get the issues corrected; they never did. Santa Rosa County Building Compliance brought the case back tothe Board (In February 2006) as a complaint (probable cause).
Randy went on to say there were 175 permits issued to Collins and Associates, 110 of them have not been finaled. Some have had inspections and failed, but the majority have never had any inspections. Of the 175 permits, 16 were inactivated by the owners and only 49 have passed final inspections.
Mr. Harold made a motion to find Kevin M Case guilty of intentional violation of the Building Code. Mr. Blackman seconded the motion. Without further discussion the motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Mr. Blackman made a motion to permanently deny Kevin M Case’s ability to pull permits in Santa Rosa County. Mr. Harold seconded the motion. Without further discussion the
motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Mr. Hall made a motion to notify State so they can investigate the case. Mr. Harold seconded the motion. Without further discussion the motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Old Business (Formal Hearing)
AMVETS Post 1292 vs. Robert Chandler Knowles d/b/a Chandler Knowles, Inc.
Rhonda Royals updated the Board regarding the case. This complaint was filed by AMVETS Post 1292 located at 6333 Old Bagdad Hwy against Robert Chandler Knowles. Mr. Knowles license # is RB0035580; he is a State Registered Building Contractor. The charges are as follows: alleged violations of Ordinance 2002-06 Section 16, paragraph 1
(e) and paragraph 1 (f). Both parties are present, representatives from AMVETS as well as Chandler Knowles.
Randy Jones reviewed the case with the Board. Mr. Knowles received a $30,000 check from AMVETS Post 1292. AMVETS Post 1292 does not have their moneyor a building.
There is anunlicensed portion to this case, which includes Gulf Coast Builders Plus. There are two contracts; one with Gulf Coast Builders Plus (not licensed in Santa Rosa
County) the other with Chandler Knowles, Inc. The only signature on them is a Mark Estes with Gulf Coast Builders. Randy stated that it is unclear to him as to the connection
between the two companies. There is some question as to the validity of the contracts however there is no question about the check. It is apparent that Mr. Knowles received the
check and endorsed it over to Gulf Coast Builders Plus. A demolition permit was issued (late 2005)for that property. Randy said that he didn’t believe any work was ever done.
The $30,000 check that was written to Chandler Knowles was made out the same day as both contracts, May 10, 2005.
A representative for AMVETS Post 1292, Michael Cooleyspoke next. He stated that Mr. Knowles had a contract to demolishthe hurricane damage and rebuild. He received $30,000 in advance and did nothing, still hasn’t done anything. Mr. Estes, not sure who he works for, had a meeting at the site and is the one that requested the money, the same day AMVETS went to the bank to get the check and gave it to Mr. Estes. The check was made out to Chandler Knowles, Inc. and was cashed. Mr. Knowles has come up with all kinds of excuses, even that someone stole his money at one time, but we don’t have any building and we don’t have any money. Mr. Michael Cooley said that he was a newly elected officer so he has kind of been put in the hornets nest, but as far as he knows, there were several meetings with Chandler Knowles.
Mr. Harold Cooley spoke next. He said the initial contact was with Mark Estes. Mr. Estes looked at the building, did some measuring and said he would get back to them regarding the price, but every time they would call Mark Estes, he would say that he would be there tomorrowor would have some excuse as to why he couldn’t make it out. Estes stated that he was working for Chandler Knowles so they called Mr. Knowles and finally got him to come over ‘cause theycouldn’t get anything out of Mark. Mark said that he needed $30,000 because he had to get drawings for the blueprints and everything else he needed to get started, he needed $30,000. Mr. Knowles was present at the time that they asked for the $30,000, but Mark Estes was the original man they talked to (representing Chandler Knowles).
A discussion ensued.
Mr. Holt: “so you are saying that Mr. Knowles was on the premises and knew…”
Harold Cooley: “He was on the premises several times.”
Mr. Holt: “when you gave him the $30,000?”
Harold Cooley: “Whenwe gave him the $30,000.”
Mr. Holt: “You gave the money to Mr. Estes now or Mr. Knowles?”
Harold Cooley: “I was not there (present) when ever they give the money, but I know that he was there or I was told that he was there.”
Mr. Blackman: “You gave the thing then to Mr. Knowles, ‘cause that’s who the check is made out to.”
Harold Cooley: “It’s made out to him and the back of the check is signed by Chandler
Knowles. Every time we asked him for any information, he would say that they were waiting on the engineers. Well we even had his engineers down, but he hadn’t done anything because he didn’t know what they wanted and every time we asked somebody, in fact, in demolishing the whole building, which is a hazard right now, Mr. Knowles said he had to get somebody to come out and inspect for asbestos. We had the County come out, your County inspector; he said there was no asbestos, tear it down. He wanted another $780 something to have someone come out and tell us whether we had asbestos in there. Every time you’d ask him a question, it would be put off till next week or next month or
[he’d say] I’ll get you somebody.”
Mr. Blackman: “so Mr. Estes came to you as an employee of …”
Harold Cooley: “Chandler Knowles.”
Mr. Blackman: “But Estes is supposed to be with Gulf Coast Builders.”
Tim Tolbert: “Who was the asbestos inspector?”
Harold Cooley: “I don’t know who the asbestos inspector was that came out to premises. I will look at records and let you know.”
Mr. Harold: “Did you sign a contract with somebody?”
Harold Cooley: “I couldn’t tell you if there was a contract signed. I’ve seen two contracts that were written up, but couldn’t tell you whether they were signed. I was in on some of the meetings when it first started, but this is all sort of new for me.”
Mr. Harold: “What would make the AMVETS happy?”
Harold Cooley: “Get our $30,000 back and see his license pulled in Santa Rosa County ‘cause if he’ll do this to the Vets, he’ll do it to anybody.” “There is a contract signed by Mr. Knowles, but it doesn’t have any of our names on it.”
Mr. Blackman: “You thought you had a contract?”
Harold Cooley: “Yes Sir.”
Mr. Dannheisser said that a verbal contract, an agreement to perform, exists once money changes hands.
Mr. Chandler Knowles spoke on his own behalf. He said that in spite of what you all just heard, he stands by that letter (dated June 14, 2006, see file). He said he was unaware of the job until he received a phone call wanting to know why no work was being done. He immediately went up to AMVETS along with a couple others and they showed him the
contract. He didn’t know any more than that at that point. He later elected to go ahead and try to build out the project even though he did not know that he was obligated due to the
exchange of money. He didn’t get that money and he doesn’t know who did. There is a signature on the back of the check and it shows ‘paid to Gulf Coast Builders’ with what looks like his signature. He does not remember signing the check and he can’t think of a reason why he would have signed it over to Gulf Coast Builders. He doesn’t even think
you can sign a check over, written to a corporation, to pay to someone else.
Mr. Holt: When the money exchanged hands, were you there?
Mr. Knowles: “I wasn’t there nor did I know anything about it, until I got that phone call.”
Mr. Blackman: “Did you do a sketch for them?”
Mr. Knowles: “I’ve done a series ofdrawings; I’ve also hire an architect.”
Mr. Holt: “So you went ahead and proceeded with the preliminaries to buy your permit.”
Mr. Knowles: “Exactly, they had no plans, no specs, nothing that was going to be done other than build a building. They said I got the $30,000; I didn’t go hunting for it. It wasn’t until later that I went back through my bank stuff and I couldn’t find ever receiving it. I asked for a copy of the check, they wouldn’t give it to me. I finally got the copy from someone else.
Mr. Hall: “Do you bank at Regions Bank?”
Mr. Knowles: “No, My only accounts are at Peoples First and you are welcome to examine every penny of every one of them.
Mr. Hall: “You have mentioned in previous correspondence that you have had business with Gulf Coast Builders.”
Mr. Knowles: “Yes, as a subcontractor to do painting and sheetrock.”
Mr. Hall made a motion to carry over the case to the next meeting in order to get the AMVETS reps herethat wrote the check and handed it to the party, he also wants to add the charge of financial mismanagement. Mr.Blackmanseconded the motion. After some discussion the motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Mr. Blackman made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Harold seconded the motion. The motion carried with a unanimous vote.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:15p.m.