ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Embattled Pensacola contractor Jesse LaCoste showed up at the recent Escambia County Contractor Competency Board meeting on Wednesday, asking the board to reinstate his license so he would be able to work again.
LaCoste, who has been arrested in connection with a project he allegedly got paid for and did not complete, had his licensed permanently revoked in Escambia County and Santa Rosa County.
He and his brother-in-law, Matthew Banks, who was also arrested for taking money for projects he did not complete, have been ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution to victims.
On Wednesday, LaCoste and Banks both had restitution and disciplinary hearings. Only LaCoste showed up to speak.
For this disciplinary hearing, the victim said they contracted with LaCoste to build their new home. They said they received a VA loan to build the new house and LaCoste received $110,000 from them and $147,000 from the bank. Due to LaCoste losing his license, the victim said they are having to find another contractor, so they don’t lose their loan.
LaCoste said he got a “bit emotional” in the back of the room during the meeting on Wednesday.
“I’ve been called a lot of things this year,” LaCoste said. “I’ve conducted business and been a builder for the last decade and have had nothing but beautiful relationships all along the Gulf Coast and was touted as somebody who was pretty good to work with for a long time and had nothing but positive interactions.”
LaCoste said this year he had his entire life “stripped” from him.
“I’ve continued to be that same person I still am, while still being called everything you can imagine and receiving death threats and all of those things,” LaCoste said.
LaCoste’s state license has not been revoked and he said he should have been able to work with his state license with clients he has.
The board said it is going to be hard not to make a resolution banning LaCoste from pulling more permits until restitutions get resolved.
“This would take away my ability to perform,” LaCoste said. “This takes away the ability to work, feed my family, feed my household and perform for this client, as well as many others that are waiting to work with me. You’ve talked to me about accountability, and this ties my hands to do anything about any of this.”
The board said when contractors violate their duties as a contractor, they have the authority to take away their way of making a living.