- September 9, 2021
MANATEE — During an undercover sting by Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputies, 14 men were charged with attempting contracting work with proper licensure.
According to a release from the county, each of the men submitted a proposal for construction work to an undercover investigator that requires a contractor's license. None of the 14 has a license, and all were issued an unlicensed construction citation, charged with a misdemeanor and issued a notice to appear in court.
The Sheriff's Office worked with the Manatee County Building and Development Services Department and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to conduct the sting Feb. 15-16.
Unlicensed contract work has become more prevalent during the recession as homeowners try to save money, says John Barnott, director of Manatee County Building and Development Services Department.
Using unlicensed contractors may also hurt the homeowner, who may not be able to sell a home on which work has been performed without the proper permits.
“We will continue to crack down, not only with contractors but with the property owners who knowingly hire them,” Barnott says in the release. “I want to send a clear message to all unlicensed activity going on out there: We're coming after you.”
To report unlicensed activity, call Manatee County Building Department at 941-749-3047. To verify a contractor's license, visit the DBPR's website.