Pinellas licensing board shuts down “contractor from Hell”

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — One former customer called home remodeler Rick Metz “The contractor from Hell” and for years, dozens of others have filed complaints about his shoddy workmanship and endless construction projects.

On Tuesday, the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board finally revoked his license to operate. “That puts him out of business in Pinellas County,” said Executive Director Rod Fischer.
Metz was served notice, but did not attend Tuesday’s meeting. He did not return calls and emails asking for comment and was not at his Clearwater offices when we tried to find him on Wednesday.

The licensing board’s action follows at least five years of frustration from clients like Sharyn Tucker, who hired Metz to build a room addition at her Palm Harbor home in 2014 that still isn’t finished.
On Tuesday, Tucker lambasted the board for allowing Metz to stay in business so long before taking action. “He keeps opening business after business he’s like four steps ahead of all of you,” Metz said “I’m here today to find out what are all of you going to do to stop this man.”

Pinellas County revoked the license of Rick Metz.
Pinellas County revoked the license of Rick Metz.

8 On Your Side began investigating Metz last Fall after a viewer asked for help. We documented scores of complaints at the licensing board, Pinellas Consumer Protection and the Better Business Bureau and spoke to a dozen of his former customers.

Metz told us he was the victim of circumstances beyond his control and blamed others in 18 out of 19 cases we questioned him about. Tucker spoke for many of his clients when she summed up Metz’s business practices.

“He says he’s going to do the job, he does just enough to collect a money draw from you and then doesn’t finish,” Tucker said.

Tuesday’s action essentially bans Metz from doing business in Pinellas, but his state license is still valid elsewhere. Fischer said that could change.

“There are cases that are under investigation with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation,” Fischer said. “My understanding is there are cases under investigation with [Pinellas] Justice and Consumer Services and the state attorney’s office. We are aware there are some other cases that simply haven’t been filed yet. READY-CONTRACTOR-HELLe

Despite the revocation of his license to operate in Pinellas, a roofing crew hired by Metz was still working on the Copper Mug Plaza on Belcher Road in Clearwater. Metz started that job more than two months ago and bounced the check he wrote to obtain the permit. Clearwater Building Official Kevin Garriott confirmed that work should have stopped at the Copper Mug Plaza and told 8 On Your Side he would send an inspector to investigate.

Like a dozen other customers who have filed recent complaints with the licensing board, Tucker can now apply for compensation from the state construction recovery fund.

“This man has single-handedly come to my house and destroyed my property,” Tucker said. “This is a terrible thing that has happened to me and my family.”

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