An Inside Look Into Bellinger's TDC Spending

By: Sandra Osborne Email
By: Sandra Osborne Email

Okaloosa County- There is new information available about Mark Bellinger’s spending practices while he was Executive Director of the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council.

TDC members say they didn’t know anything about many of the questionable expenditures.

Greg Donovan stepped in as interim TDC Director after Mark Bellinger resigned nearly one month ago, then died of a suspected drug overdose in Alabama.

Donovan presented a 12 page document during Wednesday’s TDC meeting, shedding light on many of the financial decisions Bellinger made.

There were two custom made motorcycles listed.
The bikes had a combined value of nearly $110,000 and were paid for by bed tax dollars.
Bellinger also budgeted an additional 150,000 to market an unknown contest where the bikes were supposed to be given away

Other TDC members claim to have no knowledge of the decision.
The motorcycles are still in the dealer’s shop until TDC members decide what to do with them.

Another surprise in the report, was the cost of the TDC’s newest welcome center in Destin’s Harborwalk Village.

The lease for the office was approved last summer when Bellinger told officials the rent would be $1 per year.
Bellinger signed a five year lease with the company that owns the building, but he allegedly also provided a promissory note for $42,000 dollars for the first two years, and $48,000 for the final three.

Bellinger used bed tax money for the 2011 rental payment.

Local, state, and federal authorities are all investigating the TDC spending.
While some of the officials believe many of Bellinger’s decisions were made poorly, not all were illegal.

Donovan will present both the paid and unpaid expenses to county commissioners for approval on June 5th.

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  • by Dave Location: pcb on May 25, 2012 at 04:49 AM
    It is time they quit stealing our money and spending in on themselves and their "Projects" We have too many people here now. The roads a clogged and you can't even get to the store to buy food. Our water resource is failing and sewage is overflowing into the gulf. We should tar and feather all realty liers and run them back to where they came from!
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