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Water supplier's contractor in court

Two partners in a geology firm that helps the region's largest water supplier monitor underground water supplies are in court after the firm's nasty breakup.

The firm has been in the news in recent weeks after it was learned that one of its principal members was not registered as a geologist in Florida, even though he repeatedly claimed to be in documents.

Lawyers for geologist Peter Schreuder filed suit in Hillsborough Circuit Court on Wednesday. The suit claims Schreuder's former partner, Phillip R. Davis, was still using Schreuder's name in the business, even though terms of Schreuder's recent sale of his portion of the firm to Davis stated that his name no longer would be used.

Further, the suit states that Davis is preventing Schreuder from getting his mail, phone messages and personal office equipment at the firm's office on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.

"I've been served with the suit and I've read it," Davis said Wednesday evening. "It has no merit. I'm more than happy to put it before the judge any time. That's about all I can say because it is litigation."

Neither Schreuder nor his attorneys could be reached for comment.

The suit normally would represent little more than a falling-out of two former business associates. But the firm known as Schreuder & Davis Inc. holds about $860,000 in business contracts with the West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority, the chief provider of drinking water to residents of the Tampa Bay area's three largest counties.

Documents on file at West Coast state that Davis is a duly licensed and registered geologist with the state of Florida, but a check with the state Department of Professional Regulation revealed that he's not.