WEST MELBOURNE, Florida – West Melbourne Deputy Mayor John Tice turned himself in at the Brevard County Jail at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 29, 2018.
According to Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Tice pocketed $7,000 of a larger payment made by the City of Melbourne for roof repairs to the Liberty Bell Museum.
Tice allegedly used the ill-gotten gains to buy Miami Dolphin season tickets, football memorabilia, dining out, and paying personal debt.
Tice was charged with one count of intent to defraud and one count of scheme to defraud. His bail was set at $20,000.
State Representative Randy Fine requested that Governor Rick Scott immediately remove West Melbourne Deputy Mayor “Coach” John Tice from office after Tice was arrested for stealing taxpayer dollars.
“As the State Representative representing the bulk of West Melbourne, I am asking Governor Scott to immediately remove West Melbourne City Councilman John Tice from office,” Fine said. “The charges against Tice are serious and merit his immediate removal. He simply cannot be allowed to have any political power over the people of West Melbourne, let alone serve as the next-in-line in the event of an issue with the Mayor.”
“I want to applaud Melbourne Councilman Paul Alfrey for his tireless pursuit of these corruption charges. Paul has been a bulldog ever since he realized that $15,000 of City of Melbourne taxpayer dollars disappeared while under the management of one of his fellow Councilmen. To be clear, John Tice’s crimes did not occur in the City of West Melbourne. I firmly believe this arrest would not have happened without Paul’s courage and persistence.
“I have spoken frequently about the culture of corruption that I believe exists in Brevard County,” Fine continued. “The fact that an elected official in one city could apparently steal from another city while under observation from an elected official of that second city shows that the corruption is complex and entangled. But Tice’s conduct is not isolated. Palm Shores Mayor Carol McCormack illegally hired herself for a job working for the city she manages. County Commissioners Jim Barfield and Curt Smith have been sanctioned by the Commission on Ethics for illegally hiding the details of their financial lives from voters. Palm Bay Mayor William Capote was censured and triggered an audit of his city by attempting to illegally seize control of his city and unilaterally terminate the City Manager. Local Community Redevelopment Agencies spend tens of thousands of county tax dollars on illegal activities even after being informed of such by legal counsel. Millions of county tax dollars get handed out in non-competitive contracts for the benefit of campaign donors.”
“John Tice’s arrest is a good start, but that is all it is,” Fine added. “Beyond that, I have one simple question: Who’s next?”
Photo credit: City of West Melbourne
Video credit: FOX 35