PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — In April, Investigator Jackie Callaway first exposed hundreds of Olympus Pools customers frustrated over unfinished projects. The company’s owner vowed to catch up on the work, but the data shows progress is slow going.
Doug and Cristina Mooney hired Olympus Pools in July 2020. In April, the pool still wasn’t completed. That’s when I-Team Investigator Jackie Callaway pressed the company for answers about why they were continuing to contract for new pool projects when the Lutz couple’s project and hundreds of others had stalled.
Olympus Pools’ owner James Staten vowed to stop selling pools and focus on completing existing projects. A statement he confirmed again in May.
Last week the Mooney’s pool unfinished and unfilled.
Less than a mile away Jackie Kalnins backyard looks much like it did in photos she sent ABC Action News in April. The Kalnins say no one from Olympus Pools has responded to their calls in months. They signed with the builder in May 2020.
So how much progress has the company made in the last three months?
The I-team pulled Pasco County's permit data. As promised Olympus Pools stopped selling pools earlier this year. And the numbers show the company pulled 540 permits between 2019 and 2020 and completed 118. Of those, 21 jobs were completed in the last three months.
Two hours before a scheduled interview with Staten at the Mooneys’ home, three trucks carrying crews and equipment arrived to work on the pool.
Staten said he was prioritizing work, finishing up the oldest project first, but not every project would have workers at every site.
“Workers are at dozens of sites. There's not going to be workers at job sites every day,” he said. “That's not going to happen. I don't want to pretend that is going to happen.”
On June 2, Jordan Hidalgo, a pool consultant and owner of Pools by Jordan, took over the day-to-day operations of Olympus Pools to help complete hundreds of unfinished jobs. Staten calls the progress slow but steady. “We hope to have all of them finished by Christmas.”
The company says it has poured 40 foundations and completed 30 jobs in recent months despite historic shortages of labor and supplies along with weeks of rainy weather. And ABC Action News confirmed they've settled a million-dollar lawsuit with the largest pool supply company in the country.
But the pool builder’s legal troubles linger. The Attorney General's office confirms it’s actively reviewing 150 customer complaints. And sheriff's offices in Hillsborough and Polk Counties continue to investigate fraud allegations filed by homeowners.
Staten was also asked about the Kalnin’s pool. Staten met with Jackie Kalnin later that same day and work has since resumed on her project.
ABC Action News will continue to press for progress for every Olympus Pool customer who has contacted us. If you are among them, you can file a complaint with state regulators at www.myfloridalicense.com.