Former TDC director bought car with county funds

Mark Bellinger NWFDN

Mark Bellinger

FILE PHOTO | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Before the $710,000 yacht and the $747,000 home in Destin, former Okaloosa County TDC director Mark Bellinger had a Porsche.

View invoices in this PDF

It was a gray 2008 Porsche Cayman, paid for with a $48,000 check The Zimmerman Agency sent out Aug. 20, 2010 — just three months after Bellinger took the job.

He drove the car to work and told acquaintances he’d bought with his brother. He liked to take people to lunch in the two-seat sports car, and often offered to let them drive.

The Porsche, Zimmerman Agency owner Curtis Zimmerman said, showed Bellinger how easily he could steal from the county.

“In my opinion, that’s where Mark figured out he could go around the system,” Zimmerman said.

He said Bellinger came to him and told him he’d gotten a real good deal on a vehicle and he wanted to build a TDC promotion around it.

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