Worst Tampa Contractors of 2009
24/7 Home Repair | Tampa, Fla.
Angie’s List member Barbara Anderson of Tampa says she’s glad 24/7 Home Repair owner Paul G. Gordon has finally been arrested and is facing trial.
She paid him a $1,500 deposit in 2006 for remodeling, but fired him after three days of shoddy work. “He cursed at me the day he came to pick up his tools, told me we were losers and poor people and laughed as he drove away,” Anderson says.
“It was the worst experience I’ve ever had with a contractor. I never pursued it. I just considered the $1,500 a loss.”
Gordon, who was arrested on warrants in April, was named a national Worst Contractor in 2007 and 2008 and is back as a Tampa Worst Contractor this year.
He’s currently facing trial for felony charges of grand theft and unlicensed contracting, and multiple misdemeanor charges of failure to appear in court.
Gordon, a convicted felon with a long rap sheet, is accused of performing shoddy work, running off with large deposits and harassing customers. His conviction resulted in an alert on his record.
In 2007, Suzette Holder filed a civil suit alleging he damaged her home during an extensive remodeling job. Her attorney, Matthew Thatcher, says she won a default judgment of $42,856.94.
He hopes to recover restitution now that Gordon has been arrested. Gordon remains in jail in Pinellas County and could not be reached for comment.
Jack Quick Construction | Pinellas Park, Fla.
Debbie Rowe of St. Petersburg was prepared to completely revamp her life in 2003 to care for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. But she says she didn’t know that her life would be turned upside down by the contractor she hired to remodel her house.
Rowe says she paid Jack Quick, owner of Jack Quick Construction, a $30,000 down payment, but he continually delayed the job and left her home open to the elements.
“This man has destroyed my life,” Rowe says.
She continued to gather information about Quick and pass it on to consumer protection authorities, Rowe says, and in 2008 Pinellas County prosecutors filed two charges of felony grand theft against Quick.
Quick is free on bond, and his case remains in the pretrial phase.
Pinellas County consumer protection officials declined to comment on specific details, but did confirm that Quick has been the subject of at least four consumer complaints in the past five years.
Rowe says other contractors finished part of her remodeling job, but money problems and health issues have left her unable to complete it.
Scott Andringa, Quick’s attorney, denies any wrongdoing and says Rowe is pursuing a vendetta against Quick after her own bakery business failed.
“The law is being wielded as a sword on behalf of a vocal, malicious and persistent victim,” Andringa says.
Incredible Granite | Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Authorities in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties have accused Misael Jaramillo, who did business under the names Incredible Kitchens and Incredible Granite, of accepting thousands of dollars from clients but never doing any work.
He was arrested in August and released on bond. He faces four felony charges of grand theft and one count of unlicensed specialty contracting.
Alma Sierra of Wesley Chapel reported Jaramillo to police after she says she paid him half of a $10,000 contract to remodel her kitchen.
“He kept delaying and delaying, and the one time he sent someone out to my house, they did a terrible job,” Sierra says.
“He never ordered the cabinets he said he had, left me without a kitchen for five months, and never paid back any of my money. He’s a thief.”
Jaramillo, Incredible Kitchens and Incredible Granite were also sued for contract debt in civil court in 2007. The case was settled last year for an undisclosed amount. Jaramillo could not be reached for comment.
— reporting by Paul F. P. Pogue