In rare move, state revokes license for embattled contractor exposed by WBRZ
BATON ROUGE - The State Licensing Board of Contractors voted Thursday to revoke Kelly Sills' contractor license. Sills owns Coastal Bridge, a company that's already banned from doing work for LA DOTD for a year after they defaulted on a number of projects.
Compliance Director Brad Hassert told WBRZ that revoking a contractor's license is an extraordinarily rare move, and it only happens about four times a year.
"Any contract valued at more than 50k, he cannot do that type of work any longer. he can do smaller projects under that in a commercial scope... and other type of business he's eligible to do, but larger construction projects are gone for him at the moment," said Brad Hassert, compliance director for the board.
It comes after more than an hour of testimony before the board where his attorney, CPA, and Sills himself claimed the company was on the right track and in a good financial position.
During the meeting, his CPA referred to the millions in COVID assistance or PPP funding that Coastal Bridge received as "a gift." He later clarified and said he thinks the company will only be forgiven about two thirds of the amount of that money they received.
Sills said the company is currently doing seven private jobs, but financial documents presented to the board indicated the company is in debt to the tune of around $11 million. Sills said he currently has projects ongoing in Texas and has done work before in Florida.
Sills was first exposed by the WBRZ Investigative Unit this year after it was learned he owed State Police nearly $900,000 for security detail work performed on the Sunshine Bridge during emergency repairs.
Following that story, the WBRZ Investigative Unit aired additional stories where former employees said he deducted health insurance from their checks but did not pay the premiums. Two former employees learned that the hard way after one needed a leg amputation and another needed to have a heart procedure.
Following those stories, Sills went viral after body camera footage surfaced from an arrest he had in Florida. At that time he said he paid $15,000 for a trip to Disney World and was arrested for trespassing after not complying with COVID guidelines.