approved by Joint Legislative Audit Committee
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida State Representative Randy Fine’s request to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee was approved for a special audit to examine the City of Melbourne’s finances. Both Rep. Fine and Melbourne City Council member Paul Alfrey addressed the committee on Thursday in Tallahassee. (The Florida Channel)
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Florida State Representative Randy Fine’s request to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee was approved for a special audit to examine the City of Melbourne’s finances.
Both Rep. Fine and Melbourne City Council member Paul Alfrey addressed the committee on Thursday in Tallahassee.
“In the aftermath of former West Melbourne Deputy Mayor John Tice’s arrest for embezzling $7,000 City of Melbourne tax dollars, we need to understand exactly how those tax dollars could end up vulnerable to embezzlement,” said Fine.
“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.”
Fine said that fake invoices were generated, and money intended for one purpose was laundered for another.
“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,” said Fine.
In addition, at the request of Councilman Tim Thomas, Fine is asking 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 that the County Attorney of Brevard County has ruled are illegal,” said Fine.
“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.
“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,” said Fine.
Fine represents District 53, which is comprised of the southern portion of Brevard County and includes the entirety of Palm Bay, Malabar, and Grant-Valkaria, and portions of Melbourne, West Melbourne, and unincorporated Brevard.
In the legislature, he is the Chairman of Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Vice Chairman of Gaming Control Subcommittee, serves on Health Quality Subcommittee, Business and Professions Subcommittee, Education Committee, Appropriations Committee and Brevard County Delegation.
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