According to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), the owner of Duque Roofing, Terence Duque, was arrested last Friday for contracting without a Florida license, which is a felony crime. CCSO said that the Charlotte County Economic Crimes Unit received a call from an investigator at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 1:30 p.m. last Friday.
“The investigator informed the CCSO detective that a roofing company, Duque Roofing, was found to be in Charlotte County, conducting business without a Florida license to do so, and that a homeowner had already agreed to a contract with them,” CCSO’s post about the arrest said. CCSO said that Duque had read the Governor’s State of Emergency order regarding contractors, and that he understood it to mean that contractors from out of state were permitted to work in Florida. But the order only eased rules for contractors within the state, not from out of state.
Duque Roofing has been in business in Texas and Louisiana for 13 years and is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. The company has done work in the aftermath of several hurricanes, and its website says that employees provide tarps, food and water for those impacted. The company also has a focus on providing jobs for veterans.
Still, CCSO Sheriff Bill Prummell accused Duque of “victimizing” residents. “Ignorance is not an excuse,” Prummell wrote. “If you are in Charlotte County, doing business with the people of this community, you had better be on the up-and-up and have the appropriate licensing and insurance. These people have been through enough, and I will not allow unlicensed contractors to further victimize them.”
CCSO’s press release said that Duque was transported to Charlotte County Jail without incident. But in a search of CCSO’s arrest portal, Duque’s name did not appear in the results. DPBR, CCSO and Duque roofing have not yet responded to requests for comment from Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
Yesterday, DPBR celebrated the arrest of Duque on Twitter, and received a lot of pushback from the public.