Exclusive: Police Called on County Commission Candidate

Developers and City Officials in the spotlight.

Satellite Beach Police in front of The Vue construction site on 10/26/21 responding to a call about trespassing.

Brevard Republican County Commission Candidate Sandra Sullivan had Satellite Beach police called on her twice in three days for trespassing at a large development site called “The Vue”. The calls came from a developer currently working to build a single family home neighborhood as part of a multi-million dollar, 27 acre condominium/commercial complex. She was filming the construction at the site on two different days when she says that police were improperly called both times.

Sandra is a South Patrick Shores resident, which is the community bordering north of Satellite Beach. She has been a prominent environmental activist over the last several years, and has no prior record of committing crimes. She’s very fond of sea turtles and even wears sea turtle hats, cajoling others to do the same to raise awareness about their endangered status. She has held numerous small demonstrations, and been to dozens of government meetings talking about the harm being done to a local nature preserve near her home.

She says the Hightower Beach Park preserve is home to the second highest number of sea turtle nests in Brevard. The Vue development directly across the street from the preserve is the largest of its kind in Satellite Beach history and has been the subject of a lot of controversy.

Over the last three years she has taken the government to task on many things, but her most notable work helped lead to the declaration of a “Formerly Used Defense Site”(FUDS) designation for parts of the South Patrick Shores neighborhood. A military archives search produced records of a military “dump” existing there after WW2. The military had previously denied knowledge of the dump.

Patrick AFB was redesignated as a Space Force Base last year. Determinations are ongoing as to the extent of the dump area, and whether this dump contained toxic materials typical of “burn pits” associated with munitions and toxic chemical disposal operations. PFAS compounds are legacy contaminants and have recently been found to be many times more toxic than previously known. They are common in fire fighting foams. This FUDS designation happened at about the same time a report identified a “statistically significant” number of cancer cases in the area. The (FUDS) designation includes her family’s home less than a half-mile north of The Vue development. Many things which might be found in a military dump have been excavated from her yard over the last two and a half years.

She says the Satellite Beach Police were responding to calls about her trespassing on to the construction site, but that she was legally on the public right of way the whole time filming work being done at the development. It is a felony in Florida to trespass on a construction site. She had previously filed a complaint with the St. John’s River Water Management District(SJRWMD) for work being done there without a permit. In an Oct 4th letter from the district to the developer, the district wrote, “Construction of the project has started prior to issuance of the permit for phase 2. (63.220.020 F.A.C.) The purpose of this letter is to inform you of this violation and to offer you compliance assistance as a means of resolving the issue.” 

Sandra expressed real fear that the city was acting improperly by sending 3 officers to her house outside of city limits. According to her social media post, “I believe they came to my house to arrest me had I come outside on false reports – instead I called BSO 911(Brevard Sheriff’s Office) who arrived shortly later. I filed a complaint of harassment and intimidation.” The senior officer on location in front of her house was Ofc. Eric Bell, a decorated career officer for SBPD who last year stepped in for Bert Gamin as President of the local Fraternal Order of Police chapter. Deputy Gamin was forced to resign for inviting police officers to come work in Florida after they were fired for misconduct in other states during the massive protests over George Floyd’s murder in 2020. Sheriff Wayne Ivey called Gamin’s comments “dispicable” and “disgusting”. 

“The Vue”

In a Florida Today article about this incident, the developer of The Vue is named as Woodshire Brevard LLC, and the person who had called the police was an employee named Adam Facciobene. 

It’s notable that a Don Facciobene Inc.(DFI) company sign has been in front of The Vue for quite some time. DFI is a construction company that has many projects in Brevard County. Woodshire Brevard LLC is a major developer in Brevard, recently developing a large neighborhood called “The Preserve at Lake Washington”. Woodshire Brevard LLC purchased the 27 acre site in Satellite Beach from Fontaine Group in 2017. The owner of Woodshire Brevard is Rebecca Winemiller, wife of Jimmy Winemiller. Jimmy Winemiller was featured in a 2011 article in Arkansas Business detailing a prolific history of real estate/investment fraud, conspiracy, and bribery scandals. It says he was even a witness against a judge in the famous Whitewater Scandal involving the Clintons.

In November 2019, Satellite Beach residents attended a heavily crowded city hall meeting where an ordinance for this development was put to the council for a vote. On one side, the people who supported the development advocated for the inclusion of a large hotel to be permitted on the site. Opposing the ordinance, residents cited environmental, contamination, and overcrowding concerns in a low-density residential area. 

Notable in particular, was the claim that the inclusion of an 85 foot hotel on the site would violate city charter rules. Those rules limit commercial development to 35ft on the west side of A1A unless there is a citizen referendum vote to change the height limit. Sandra has long been concerned that the development would violate a Florida Communities Trust grant agreement signed by the City in 1999 which protects The Hightower Beach Park preserve. A violation of the covenants in that grant could cause the City to be removed as the steward of that nature preserve.

Did the police act improperly?

It seems heavy handed to the casual observer that a trespassing complaint of this nature would result in three officers responding to a residence. However, Satellite Beach Police Department has abundant resources and an excellent response time. Considering the fact that Sandra is a political candidate it’s possible they wished to have multiple witnesses to any exchange in the likelihood of coverage in the press. It is unclear why they visited her house in person, as she had been issued a written trespass warning two days prior. At the time of this publication, it is not apparent that SBPD has commented publicly about the incident. State law prohibits making false complaints to the police.

Sandra Sullivan is running for the District 4 County Commission seat being vacated by Curt Smith next year. Her Republican primary competitors are listed as Rob Feltner and James Murrell on the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections website.

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