Seized Destin Home Given To The Feds

A federal judge is officially giving ownership of former Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council Director Mark Bellinger's house to the federal government.

Friday afternoon Judge Casey Rogers approved the feds forfeiture motion for the 747-thousand dollar Kelly Plantation home.

Bellinger used part of Okaloosa County's 30-million dollars B-P settlement money to buy the house. As well as a yacht, motorcycles and other items.

When county commissioners learned about the yacht, Bellinger resigned, drove to Alabama, and committed suicide several days later. In his suicide note, he admitted to stealing the money for the house and claimed his wife had no knowledge of the deal.

Bellinger's widow signed a consent agreement stating she had no interest in keeping the home, which cleared the way for Judge Rogers to issue Friday's forfeiture decree.

Oddly enough, Okaloosa County officials did not make a claim on the house, even though the B-P money was meant for county use.