Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sinkhole repair contractor surrenders on warrant for fraud

SPRING HILL — Carl Click of sinkhole repair contractor Click's Construction surrendered to Hillsborough County authorities Wednesday on a warrant for organized fraud over $50,000.

Click, 50, is part of a larger investigation involving sinkhole repairs and fraudulent documents stemming from work done on an undisclosed number of homes in Hernando County, including that of Phyllis House.

"It's absolutely wonderful,'' House said of Click's arrest. "I'm so glad. He's an integral part of this whole thing.''

Keeping track of the cases has been a focal point for her life for well over a year. She knowingly bought a home in Lake in the Woods in 2009 that had a sinkhole problem, then hired Click's Construction to begin sinkhole repairs.

But, she said, no repairs were ever done. House could tell because none of the normal activities that she has seen at other sinkhole repair sites —heavy machinery being used, grout being poured into sinkholes — ever took place at her home.

House said she knows what to look for because she is in the business of buying and selling sinkhole-damaged homes.

The Click company's vice president, Lorie Contorno, was arrested late last year on a charge of organized fraud over $50,000, a first-degree felony. She received probation on that charge.

Her husband, Robert Contorno, was arrested in May and remains in the Hernando County Detention Center, charged with fraud to obtain property worth $50,000 or more.

House has blamed the Hernando County Building Department for signing off on work it should not have approved and she said her battle continues on that front. She also continues to follow the developments in the Click and Contorno cases.

Her daughter also did business with Click's Construction on her home in the Wellington at Seven Hills. Lorie Contorno signed off on the work on House's daughter's home as a licensed engineer, although she has no engineer's license.

House said authorities told her the case is ongoing and that more arrests may follow. Hernando sheriff's officials declined to comment.

Meanwhile, House continues to live in the unrepaired sinkhole house at Lake in the Woods, which continues to emit loud cracking and popping noises.

"It is deafening. It is horrible. I just can't live here,'' House said. She said she had bought a new house and plans to move soon.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Sinkhole repair contractor surrenders on warrant for fraud 08/24/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 8:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman

    Blogs

    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.