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Palm Bay: Law Enforcement Arrest David Isnardi. Warrant Has Troubling Information.

To say that the City of Palm Bay was rocked and “done blowed up” on Friday is not an understatement as the first arrests dealing with corruption in the City were made.

We aren’t going to bury the lede:

Former Palm Bay Deputy City Manager Dave Isnardi has been arrested on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit extortion and conspiracy to possess controlled substances including oxycodone.

Isnardi is the husband of Brevard County Commissioner Kristine Isnardi.

Dave Isnardi is being represented by Bryan Lober, an attorney who is also a county commissioner.

A second man, Jose Aguiar, a former candidate for the Palm Bay City Council, was also arrested Friday morning and charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Aguiar was convicted of conspiracy to sell cocaine in Massachusetts in 1997 and was sentenced to three years and one month in federal prison. It is not clear when he moved to Palm Bay.

All told, Isnardi is charged with two first-degree felonies, which each carry potential penalties of 30 years in prison and three third-degree felonies, each of which carry a potential five-year prison sentence.

According to an FDLE press conference, the controlled substances were oxycodone, meth, and tramadol.

The FloridaToday is reporting that County Commissioner Bryan Lober is representing Isnardi:

Attorney and County Commission Vice Chair Bryan Lober will represent Dave Isnardi in his court case.

Dave Isnardi is the husband of Kristine Isnardi, the County Commission chair.

Lober termed the allegations against Dave Isnardi “hyper-political,” and said the truth will come out in court.

Lober doesn’t explain how the case is “hyper-political” and we suspect his comment is “hyper-rhetoric.”

However, according to the filing by Lober with the courts, he is representing Isnardi only for the hearing / arraignment on today.

The FDLE says that the severity of the charges means that Isnardi will not be eligible for bail and if correct, Lober’s appearance is nothing more than perfunctory with him simply saying “yes, Your Honor.”

However, even this appearance by Lober raises ethical issues and a possible conflict of interest.

For example, if Lober represents Isnardi as “friends” and the next time an issue that Lober wants to get passed at the Commission, he reminds Isnardi of the “favor” he did for her and her husband. Would that happen? We don’t know. Could that happen? Absolutely. It could not happen simply because of Lober and Isnardi being who they are, but because it has happened in the past with other elected officials which is why the admonition is not for elected officials to not only avoid actual conflicts of interests, but the appearance of conflicts of interest as well.

The smart thing would be for Lober to not have anything to do with this case. In our opinion, the appearance of a conflict of interest is too high.

Charges filed against David Isnardi
click for larger image


The actual “Affidavit for Arrest Warrant” has to be read. The allegations are incredible.

According the affidavit, David Isnardi and Jose Aguiar wanted to control the outcomes of City Council votes through drugs, prostitution and payoffs.

The drug side of it comes via Councilman Jeff Bailey who, according to the affidavit, was dependent or addicted to oxycodone.

Aguiar informed the CS (Confidential Source) that he delivered prescription painkillers, “the same type as last time,” to the Clubhouse for distribution to Palm Bay City Councilman Jeffrey Bailey (hereinafter “Bailey”). Aguiar said he was also going to get Bailey some “Oxys” (slang terminology for Oxycodone) in what the CS thought was Aguiar’s way of increasing Bailey’s addiction to prescription drugs. (affidavit page 4)

And:

The CS informed Aguiar that Isnardi also wanted to expose Bailey’s drug dependency. Aguiar responded to the comment by stating, “He’s after Gregg (Lynk), he’s after Dave (Isnardi), he’s after everybody. (affidavit page 8.)

Although not indicted or charged with a crime, (at least at this time) Councilman Bailey needs to “come clean” on the drug issue for many reasons.

1) Was Bailey ever addicted or dependent on oxy, and if so, how did that dependency come about? Was it the result of an injury he simply became addicted (which happens) or was it something he experimented with and got hooked?
2) How was he feeding the addiction? Was it through a doctor and prescriptions or was he getting the pills illegally off the street?
3) How did the drug affect his mental acuity when it came to City issues and votes?

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, “is Councilman Bailey still addicted or dependent on the pills or has he kicked the habit in the two years since the information in the affidavit was obtained?”

The first three questions deal with Bailey’s interaction with the City and his responsibility as an elected official. The last question deals with his long term health, and while he doesn’t have to address that, it would be good to hear that he addressed the problem.

Isnardi and Aguiar also tried to bribe Bailey with cash and a home. Bailey did not bite on either.

The two also discussed planting drugs in Bailey’s car:

They discussed the plot to “take down” by having Bailey arrested with drugs in his car and what type of drugs they would plant inside Bailey’s vehicle. Ultimately, Aguiar provided 40 pills (9.4 grams) and 3.4 grams of a granular substance to the CS, and instructed the CS to plant the items in Bailey’s vehicle underneath the driver’s seat, in the glove box, and underneath the floor mats. Aguiar is overheard saying something about mollies, and after providing the drugs to the CS, Aguiar stated, “That should be enough.” It was also reported that Isnardi said he would have a sheriffs deputy he knew conduct a traffic stop on Bailey’s vehicle after the drugs were placed inside Bailey’s vehicle, which ultimately would lead to Bailey’s arrest. Aguiar said, “Mollies are a hot commodity” with law enforcement and are easily detected by law enforcement dogs. Aguiar instructed the CS to wear gloves and utilize a plastic bag when planting the drugs in Bailey’s vehicle. Aguiar also instructed the CS to “Make it happen” and mentioned how they would “smear the fuck out of’ Bailey after Bailey’s arrest. (affidavit page 10.)

In some weird, warped universe, the two were targeting Bailey and former Councilman Calvin “Tres” Holton believing that the two Councilmen were roadblocks to votes on rezoning and other issues. The warped universe part of this is that it fair to say that Bailey and Holton were not friends, did not respect each other and the political hatred between the two was palatable. It’s odd that they were both on the side of a fence that appeared to be against issues Aguiar and Isnardi wanted to go forward.

Prostitutes were also mentioned:

On April 9, 2018, Bailey was interviewed. Bailey reported that Aguiar sought out individuals in positions of influence and would attempt to gain their cooperation via offers of benefit(s) or via implied threats. Bailey admitted that he previously used Tramadol at the “Clubhouse” and witnessed Holton use cocaine at the Clubhouse. Bailey also said that Holton informed him that he (Holton) had obtained prostitutes for Palm Bay Mayor Capote while in Tallahassee, and offered to obtain a prostitute for Bailey as well

Both Holton and Capote denied the accusation:

“Is this a joke?” Holton said, when contacted by FLORIDA TODAY and told the allegations against him in the arrest warrants. “You’re going to have to call me back,” Holton said, not responding further to questions.

[….]

Capote said he was surprised to learn from FLORIDA TODAY that his name was mentioned in the arrest warrant as being connected with prostitutes.

He said those allegations are untrue.

“I don’t know who would tell someone that,” Capote said. “That’s profound. This is all new to me. That accusation has no validity.”

Capote said he has been in Tallahassee in the past on city business, meeting with state legislators and other state officials, but he did not hang out with Holton while he was there.

Capote says people may have been trying to taint him for political reasons. Capote said he was never interviewed by investigators, and that he has no reason to secure a lawyer in this matter.

The affidavit has more disturbing allegations such as threats of violence and bodily harm.

David Isnardi

In addition, the affidavit says that former City Manager Gregg Lynk was aware of the discussions and plans of Isnardi and Aguiar but chose to do nothing and eventually backed away from involvement.

Lynk’s actions are in stark contrast to the Confidential Source who helped bring all of this to light. He or she may never be known, but they deserve heaping thanks from the people of Palm Bay and even Brevard County. This is an individual who was not willing to sit back and accept a paycheck for silence. This person should be held up as an example for every public employee to follow.

If people think they cannot make a difference, they need only to look at the person who is the CS in this case.


(As a side note, the affidavit has this from Aquiar:

While further discussing Bailey, Aguiar stated, “Our boys a problem, that why I showed him that money. I wanted to see where he was at. And right after I showed him that money he runs to the cops. Like the cops are going to get something on me? Really, If the FBI can’t fucking do it, do you really think these local yokels are going to do something?” (affidavit page 9) (emphasis ours)

How’s that working out for you now, Jose?)

Also, according to the Supervisor of Elections’ site, Aguiar donated to the campaigns of every sitting member of the Palm Bay City Council.


The question is “where do we go from here?”

The answer is “nowhere. At least not now.”

This investigation started with the “Homes for Warriors” program and in our opinion, anyone who touched that corrupt mess without saying anything is culpable and in legal danger as well.

This arrest and all that accompanies it is the result of a four year investigation.

In the FDLE press conference, it was said that the information for the basis of the arrests was gotten by the FBI. (In fact, the affidavit is written by an FBI agent.) The FBI can only act on Federal issues or issues that cross state lines. They have not announced the end of their investigation which leads us to believe that there is more coming down the pike from them as far as Federal things are concerned. (We know for a fact that more arrests from FDLE are coming.)

Also, don’t forget that there is still the JLAC (Joint Legislative Auditing Committee) review. That report was due out months ago and yet it has not been seen. That is coming as well.

So for now, we are preaching patience. Let the rest of the system and investigations play out while letting the people on the dais know we aren’t happy at what has occurred.

Finally, we want to leave with this thought – a thought for the people of Palm Bay, but a thought aimed more at the City Council, others on the dais and department heads.

This corruption happened on your watch. It was happening under your nose. While Councilman Santiago has curiously not been mentioned in this yet, he appointed alleged pimp Holton to the EDC. Councilman Anderson made statements in the past that there was no corruption in the City. Councilman Bailey was obviously aware of the corruption and was not exactly walking around with “clean hands.” Four of the people on the dais plus former Councilman Holton, hired City Manager Lynk who knew about the antics of Isnardi and Aguiar and did nothing. In fact, it took an election to get a third vote to remove Lynk from office as Holton, Santiago and Anderson claimed “nothing to see there, move along” even though it was known to them that Lynk was taking kickbacks.

Then you have Mayor William Capote, who laughs at everything, no matter how appropriate that laughter is. Capote has claimed that the staff in City Hall is great. He views them as his “family” and has said that not only will he defend his “family,” but will go after anyone who “attacks” them. Under his watch, this corruption, the tip of the iceberg of which we learned about on Friday, took place. This is the same Mayor who allowed people to not petition the government. This is the same Mayor that doesn’t allow the First Amendment in the Council Chambers. In other words, not only did the corruption happen on his watch, he was an active part in the climate that allowed the corruption to occur and flourish to this day.

Go ahead and try to laugh that off, gang.



11 Responses to “Palm Bay: Law Enforcement Arrest David Isnardi. Warrant Has Troubling Information.”

  1. Bob Chadwick says:

    Very interesting reading. Thank you for posting it.

    The flapping noise you hear in the background is chickens coming home to roost. If you look up, you will note that the sky is black with them.

    We are about to experience a whole load of plaintive cries of “I didn’t do nothing” and “It was that other guy”. I suggest that those protestations are the same stuff that makes the grass grow green. Regardless of who did what to whom, we are left with the perception, if not the reality, of wrongdoing, which will stick to the accused with the same tenacity as the aforementioned natural fertilizer.

    Might I make so bold as to suggest that our present elected/appointed officials take note of this situation and remember that, regardless of what you say, how you act and the public’s perception of your activity will mark you forever.

  2. Thomas Gaume says:

    I’m tired of seeing our City always in the press due to the failures of the City leadership.

    We should be exterminating the corruption and influence peddlers from our local government, not hiring those with questionable backgrounds.

    If elected Mayor I will be tough on crime and will do everything in my power to finish exterminating the past from the chambers of our City.

    You arrest those that break the laws of the land. Leave it to a Judge to decide the sentence or punishment. You don’t just write them a civil citation and pray that they will comply with the toothless citation.

  3. Carla says:

    Who was the Confidential Source (CS) who was close enough to Isnardi that Isnardi thought he could trust him? What CS was crooked enough that the FBI and FDLE had him by the testicles so that he would turn against his former comrades? Who would have a reason to meet his trusted confidante at the Brevard Government Center? Could it be someone who was still working at the Government Center at the same time he was working for the City of Palm Bay?

  4. Julery says:

    Oh look, its the real estate attorney/deed notarizer Lober coming to the aid of his embattled co-commissioner with a likely criminally corrupt husband.
    Yep – it is a conflict that will taint both of their remaining times on the board.
    But the entertainment factor of this whole thing is Great!

  5. Above the Fray says:

    Your confidential source is definitely not someone that should be held up as an example for others to follow. Rather it’s someone that had few other options.

  6. Paul Alfrey says:

    My question is why would Thomas Guame bash Randy Fine for bad decision making but use his endorsement a couple of months ago when running for Palm Bay City Council? Would like to know since he said he will be running for Mayor and I have a lot of family and friends that live in Palm Bay who vote?

    • AAfterwit says:

      Paul Alfrey,

      Thank you for the comment.

      We are not going to “defend” Thomas Gaume as he is capable of doing that himself.

      That being said, one can be endorsed by someone and still disagree with their decisions. We would hope and think that an endorsement is not a requirement that disagreements on decisions and policies can never be had. We would hope that an endorsement is not some sort of binding agreement to support anything an elected official does. That would be an example of the worst kind of politics where “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” which puts constituents at risk due to blind support.

      Citizens are best served when there is vigorous debate and not just blind acceptance of ideas by elected officials in their desire to get elected because they were “endorsed” by someone else.

      However, if we are going to go down the route that endorsement means acceptance of what the endorser stands for, perhaps you need to address or explain this:

      That’s Aguiar on the left working for,supporting and endorsing Randy Fine.

      According to your logic, Fine can’t come out and disagree or condemn Aguiar now? Because Aguiar endorsed and supported Fine, Fine is now locked into supporting Aguiar?

      We are pretty sure that you don’t want to go down that path, but to be consistent in your comment concerning Gaume, you have to.

      We don’t care who endorses who. We never have cared. If you vote because someone else tells you how to vote, that’s ridiculous.

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.

  7. Paul Alfrey says:

    Sure, I would gladly respond. The picture does not surprise me. Reading the report it clearly indicates that Aguiar seeked out elected officials for political influence. Heck, I think that is what lobbyist do everyday.

    As for explaining the picture, it is what it is. A guy now charged with a crime holding a sign for a political candidate in a past election.

    But holding a sign for a candidate because of whatever intentions they may have is not the same as running for office and asking for an endorsement from someone you don’t share similar views with. Frankly, I am tired of elected officials who don’t have solutions or get in office for their own benefit. It happens way too often.

    Thanks for taking the time and for doing what you do because it keeps the system in check. Plus, we actually agree on many points. That the political arena is ugly and voting because someone else tells you to vote a certain way is ridiculous.

    Have a great day,

    Paul

    • AAfterwit says:

      Paul Alfrey,

      Thanks again for the comment.

      As for explaining the picture, it is what it is. A guy now charged with a crime holding a sign for a political candidate in a past election.

      Or, that is Randy Fine seeking out workers to help support and endorse him in his campaign. That is Randy Fine accepting that endorsement and help.

      Do you think that Fine agrees with the beliefs of Aguiar as alleged in the affidavit?

      But holding a sign for a candidate because of whatever intentions they may have is not the same as running for office and asking for an endorsement from someone you don’t share similar views with.

      From what we have seen, Gaume and Fine agree on the general picture, but just not the way to go about it. In the 2018 election the endorsement went both ways as both men claim to be Republican and the alternatives were not acceptable to either of them.

      Frankly, I am tired of elected officials who don’t have solutions or get in office for their own benefit. It happens way too often.

      So what is the solution to that problem?

      A. Afterwit.

  8. Dub Drinnon says:

    Looks like local politics has made a scapegoat out of someone who wouldn’t play ball. Scapegoatism never works and only allows a corrupt system to thrive. Regarding the conflicts of interest as between commissioners and local government leaders, this one appears to be trying to set up a bed-partnership with the local sheriff, a blatant conflict of interest.

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