Representative Randy Fine and Palm Bay Mayor Rob Medina, both endorsed and supported newly elected Councilman Pete Filiberto. He was also supported by Congressman Posey. Fine repeatedly stated that by electing Filiberto, Palm Bay would be getting rid of the #cultureofcorruption and restore trust and confidence back to the city. Filiberto was running against Fine’s former opponent Phil Moore. Fine paid for campaign mailers pointing out Moore’s history of speeding tickets in the past as a reason to disqualify him as a worthy candidate.
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In contrast, a look at Filiberto’s Brevard County history reveals at least 4 DUI arrests (two of which were on a boat), and 16 traffic infractions. Some of them are criminal in nature to include attaching a tag not registered to the vehicle in 2021, driving on a suspended license, several speeding and seat belt violations, careless driving, and more. He failed to pay the fines on most of his tickets. A search in Broward County where he lived at one time shows another ticket for driving on a suspended license in his 2006 Bentley. This most recent arrest revealed that his license has been suspended since September last year for failure to carry car insurance.
It appears at some point between 2013 and 2019, Filiberto changed his name from Frank, which is the same as his father who is the former Mayor of Palm Bay, to Peter. All of the citations in Brevard have either Frank or Peter but all the same date of birth and drivers license number.
Filiberto was arrested over the weekend on charges of DUI, felony cocaine/crack cocaine possession (10.6 grams), reckless driving, and other charges. The arrest affidavit states that he attempted to flea after being stopped by Palm Bay Police, but then fell from his motorcycle in the process.
Palm Bay Mayor Medina released a statement to the media regarding the incident. He stated that these are serious charges and that his heart goes out Pete Filiberto and his family.
“As you know, my focus since being elected Mayor has been to restore trust and confidence in the City and its leadership,” Medina stated.
Medina wants to wait and see what happens legally for Filiberto, and wont ask for his resignation publicly .
Representative Fine, who has heavy influence over Medina, shared the same sentiments. In a conversation with other individuals, they agreed that having Filiberto resign was not in their best interest as it would allow for the City Council, which is majority Democrat to appoint his replacement by majority vote. They also didn’t want to be on record condemning a fellow elected Republican. Medina and Fine also backed failed candidate Nathan White with the same platform as Filiberto in a very negative campaign against Councilman Kenny Johnson. White was also backed by disgraced form County Commissioner Bryan Lober who is currently under investigation by the FDLE and also resigned from his position. Johnson won the race overwhelmingly despite the relentless attacks.
Filiberto was also supported by the Space Coast Young Republicans who at the same time endorsed a candidate in Cape Canaveral who was arrested for using a ‘glory hole’ in a Walmart bathroom.
During last year’s election, Palm Bay residents voted overwhelmingly to amend the city’s Charter, giving the council the power to appoint someone to fill any vacancy. Filiberto was actually first elected by special election to fill the vacancy of former Councilman Jeff Bailey who resigned after accepting a teaching job out of state. Ironically, Bailey was also implicated on drug abuse allegations that came out during an FBI/FDLE investigation into the former council and City Manager Gregg Lynk, and Deputy City Manager David Isnardi.
The lengthy arrest affidavit revealed that Isnardi wanted to use Melbourne Mayor Paul Alfrey, who was a Melbourne K-9 police officer, to plant drugs on Bailey’s vehicle in order to retaliate against him for not voting the way he wanted. Bailey admitted to a drug problem during the investigation according to reports.
Melbourne Mayor Paul Alfrey Takes a Shot
Melbourne Mayor Paul Alfrey took to Facebook to take a shot at the City of Palm Bay in retaliation to voting against a project he supported to house a new homeless shelter in Palm Bay while closing down the one in Melbourne.
The irony in his comments isn’t lost on the fact that Alfrey himself was forced to resign from the Melbourne Police Department instead of being terminated from the results of an internal investigation of missing drugs he was responsible for, amid a pattern of other violations of policy. Alfrey was questioned according to the investigation, leaving a former prostitute’s home (who was also interrogated) while still married to another woman. Alfrey later filed for divorce and married the woman involved in the investigation. Alfrey came under fire during his campaign for lying about being a retired police officer as opposed to being forced to resign.
Alfrey’s post raises another question from his colleague, Councilman Mark LaRusso. According to Filiberto’s arrest affidavit, he was reported as a resident of Surfside near Miami Beach, FL. But he is registered to vote at a residence here in Palm Bay, and is required to be a resident of Palm Bay in order to qualify to serve as a city councilman. We have not been able to verify, but anticipate the explanation for the discrepancy is likely a failure to update his address on his suspended driver’s license after moving.
But irony strikes again for Alfrey at the hands of LaRusso. Mayor Alfrey has publicly separated from the second wife mentioned above, and reportedly moved in with Dave Neuman, Chair of the Space Coast Young Republicans, who was an employee of Alfrey’s insurance business at the time. Voter registration records show that they are both currently registered and live at the same address.
According to Neuman himself however, Alfrey does not live at the address, but maintains it in order to remain qualified himself to be Mayor. He spends most nights at a residence in Palm Bay which would mean not only is he not meeting the legal requirements to be Melbourne Mayor, but he is also committing voter fraud; voting in and being registered where he does not actually reside.
Neuman and Alfrey had a falling out over finances, and in-turn, Neuman filed to run for District 5 County Commission’s open seat, a position he knew Alfrey was going to go for this term. You can see Alfrey admitting his intentions to me personally in the following text exchange.
Now that Representative Thad Altman has also filed to run for D5, Alfrey is forced to run for re-election as Mayor where he will most certainly face a challenge after fallout with other Republicans.
Back to Filiberto
Whether Filiberto decides to resign or not may be end up being moot. He may do so in order to avoid being formally removed, and it would benefit other Republican leadership/elected officials who may be feeling pressure from citizens to call for his resignation publicly. According to Florida Statute 112.51, being arrested on a felony charge by an elected official is grounds allowing for the Governor to suspend them from office pending the outcome of the charges. The suspension creates a vacancy on the board, which according to statute and the Palm Bay City Charter, allows for the City Council to appoint someone to the position until the next general election, pending the outcome of the charges.
If convicted of the charges, the Governor shall remove the person from office. If not convicted, they are entitled to back pay and benefits for the time spent on suspension.
The evidence in the case against Filiberto is quite overwhelming and strong. The entire incident was captured on police dash and body cams, however is currently exempt from public records requests since the investigation is ongoing.
Conservative Radio Personality Bill Mick called for Filiburto’s resignation himself on his Monday morning show. Mick, who is a former police officer specializing in drug enforcement stated that Filiberto’s actions put the entire community at risk for his recklessness. He stated he felt the traffic charges alone were enough to call for him to resign, set aside from the obvious felony drug charge.
We have been told that other former and current elected officials are drafting letters demanding the same. Filiberto also serves as Vice-Chair of the Brevard County Planning and Zoning Board, but was absent from Monday’s meeting.
Tough for Palm Bay (supporting documents for everything referenced here are in the links)
Palm Bay residents have expressed frustration and outrage over the arrest. Many felt that after years of scandal and negative headlines from 2015-2018, the city was finally getting on the right track. But Filiberto’s arrest checks all the boxes of former councilmen before him.
We already mentioned the drug problems, but also illegal campaign contributions centered around Jeff Bailey who Filiberto replaced. Palm Bay City Attorney Andrew Lannon also told FBI agents that Representative Fine was being controlled by David Isnardi. But serving along with him was Councilman Brian Anderson who was convinced by the FBI to wear a wire against after admitting to “selling his soul to the devil” taking $10,000 in illegal campaign funds from Joe Aguiar who was also arrested with Isnardi. Aguiar who worked on Fine’s campaign team is now back in prison after the Palm Bay conviction. Anderson was attempting to capture audio of then City Manager Gregg Lynk bribing him with a vehicle allowance for a vote he wanted on council.
But along with Bailey and Anderson, was the infamous Tres Holton. In numerous audio and video recordings by the FBI, Holton admitted to many wrongdoings, including admitting to providing prostitutes to newly elected representatives and lobbyist in Tallahassee. At one point during interrogation, Holton even pulls out his cell phone to show the agents the numbers he called for the women, and how much they cost. He called it “tricks of the trade.” It was also brought up in the investigation that Holton would reportedly hide in the hotel closet of individuals he got women for to catch them on camera to use against them at a later date if necessary. The FBI agents then drilled Holton on the information they received that they were bringing women/prostitutes from the PinUps strip club to Randy Fine’s district office, which just happens to be across the street from the club. (Hear the audio in the link)
Isnardi conspired with others to set Holton up and catch him on camera with prostitutes himself, and using drugs. What drugs? You guessed it…cocaine. Holton, like Anderson, worked out a deal with investigators to wear a wire to assist in their investigation which they later revoked due to his dishonesty with them.
Holton was defeated by Councilman Kenny Johnson in 2018, and the first action Kenny took as a councilman was to fire Gregg Lynk as City Manager.
Suprisingly, Tres Holton now works as a teacher at Heritage High School. According to his teacher application, he may have lied about his criminal history and veteran status when applying for employment with Brevard Public Schools. Holton was arrested in South Florida after he assaulted a police officer at a casino while being trespassed for being drunk and disorderly.
It should be noted that he was the campaign manager for now Brevard Public Schools Chair Matt Susin who also omitted his criminal history when applying for BPS, of writing fraudulent checks and fleeing from police and reckless driving. Those charges sound familiar? Holton was also a donor and supporter to newly elected School Board Member Gene Trent, who was also caught lying on his teacher application for omitting multiple arrests in his history. Trent resigned from his position as a teacher, and was elected to the School Board last November. The State’s investigation into his behavior is ongoing.
After all of these allegations, admissions, evidence, and facts came out about these elected officials, not one time did Representative Fine comment on social media or to the press on it. He never called for any of them to resign, and he never created a hashtag for them. All of them had several things in common, they helped Fine, and owed/owe him favors and loyalty. The only person out of the entire ordeal that Fine called out, was Mayor Capote, a Democrat for the allegation of using his city vehicle for personal use, and being a different color than other city vehicles.
It appears that despite the citizens of Palm Bay and Melbourne’s best efforts, Fine is ensuring more of the same, and leveraged, superficial support for his aspirations of higher office.
Palm Bay’s next council meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, and it’s anticipated to be highly attended by residents demanding answers and resignation.