State Rep. Randy Fine Calls For State Audit of the City of Melbourne
By Sunshine State News // May 4, 2018
FINE: My taxpaying constituents are owed answers...
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA (Sunshine State News) – State Rep. Randy Fine wants the state to conduct a targeted, two-part audit of the City of Melbourne, and on Thursday put his request in a letter to Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, chair of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee.
“In the aftermath of former West Melbourne Deputy Mayor John Tice’s arrest for embezzling $7,000 of the City of Melbourne tax dollars, we need to understand exactly how those tax dollars could end up vulnerable to embezzlement,” Fine wrote.
“Based on the documents I have been provided by Melbourne Councilman Paul Alfrey, who has worked tirelessly on this issue, it appears that a sitting councilwoman made a motion to grant taxpayer dollars to a charity she personally ran, based on claims of matching funds that did not exist, for a project that never happened.
“Fake invoices were generated, and money intended for one purpose was laundered for another,” Fine continued. “My taxpaying constituents are owed answers about how tax dollars could be used in this way via an outside, independent audit. We need to make sure people are held accountable and it never happens again.
“In addition, at the request of Councilman Tim Thomas, I would like the state to audit two Melbourne Community Redevelopment Agencies. These organizations have been using tax dollars — not only from City of Melbourne residents, but from the county at large – that are supposed to be used to eliminate slums and blight, to instead sponsor festivals and parties the Brevard County attorney has ruled are illegal.
“Yet the local politicians continue to act with impunity and continue this apparently illegal activity. When the local politicians fail to follow the law, I believe we have an obligation to step in,” Fine said.
“Whether securing a top-to-bottom audit of Palm Bay, demanding a state investigation into a politician’s sham non-profit, calling out illegal nepotism by a Brevard mayor, or exposing taxpayer handouts to special interests versus saving the Indian River Lagoon, I am more determined than ever to root out the culture of corruption that exists in Brevard County.”
To See Fine’s Letter CLICK HERE
Fine has been on a crusade to clean up and energize local government in his district. Outraged over Brevard County’s illegal dumping of 22,782,439 gallons of raw sewage into the Indian River in 21 separate releases from Sept. 11 to Oct. 19, 2017, Fine worked to compel the county to fix its infrastructure so it never happens again.
In March he announced Brevard would be compelled to spend more than $12 million on sewage system repairs under a consent order prepared by the Department of Environmental Protection with input from Fine’s office. DEP confirmed it.
At the time Fine said he was only just beginning to “shake things up” at home. His call for an audit apparently is the next phase.
Fine represents District 53 — the southern portion of Brevard County, all of Palm Bay, Malabar, and Grant-Valkaria, and portions of Melbourne, West Melbourne, and unincorporated Brevard.
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