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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Florida the rules are different here Chapter CXXXI

A Pensacola Fire Captain is arrested for organized fraud and doing contracting work without a license. The Captain is also President of the local firefighters Union. Guess what? The Union is standing by their President, even though he received probation in 1999 for contracting without a license. He also got a ticket in 1993 for parking in a Fire Lane! Such wonderful civil servants we have here in Florida. Isn't this a great state or what?

Linked to- Adam, Big Dog, Blue Star, Bullwinkle,

A captain and longtime veteran of the Pensacola Fire Department faces criminal charges after he allegedly swindled a Pensacola couple in a contracting side job.

Capt. Robert A. Sumner, 45, of Pace was charged Wednesday with felony counts of contracting without a license and organized fraud, Assistant State Attorney Russ Edgar said.

Patrick and Brigette Heye of Pensacola hired the fire captain in October 2004 for a $320,000 job on their Meadson Way home.

The Heyes said Sumner presented himself to them under the business name Vulcan Homes instead of his actual company Sumner Builders, according to court papers. They later learned his Sumner Builders' license was suspended, Edgar said.

The couple said Sumner performed shoddy work and quoted excessive overages for subcontracting services. When the couple refused to pay more than $70,000 he owed to subcontractors, Sumner filed a lawsuit against them. That case is pending.

"Please do not let Capt. Sumner rob the numerous suppliers and contractors, who have provided quality goods and timely quality services, of their fair wages," the Heyes wrote in a complaint. "We feel it is only fair, moral and legal that he pays them according to the signed contract and amendment."

The Heyes said they trusted Sumner because he was a firefighter.

"(He) stated numerous times that because he was a City of Pensacola firefighter, we would always know where to find him and stressed the moral and integrity issues associated with his job," the Heyes said. "He stated he had to sign a morality clause regarding his 'off time.' "

Sumner has worked for the city's fire department for 23 years and is the president of the union that represents the department's firefighters, according to interim Chief Mel Waters.

Waters learned of the charges earlier this week and said there are no plans for disciplinary action or a suspension unless Sumner is convicted of some type of wrongdoing.

"At this point, he's only charged, and he's innocent until proven guilty, I hope," Waters said. "Whatever Bob's problems are, they are his problems personally. They have nothing to do with the Pensacola Fire Department."

This isn't the first time Sumner has been accused of contracting without a license.

In 1999, he was given probation and ordered not to contract without a license, Edgar said. He also had at least nine civil cases filed against him by unpaid suppliers and former customers, court records show.

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