Former TDC director bought car with county funds

Published: Monday, October 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM.

Rick Brinkman, sales manager at Lee Subaru in Fort Walton Beach, remembered the Porsche-for-Subaru transaction, he said, “because the Sheriff’s Office was in here doing an investigation,” following Bellinger’s death.

Brinkman confirmed that Bellinger received cash back on his trade-in.

Documents obtained by the Daily News and validated through county records indicate Zimmerman wrote a check for $48,000 to Bill Dube Hyundai in Wilmington, Mass.

A bill of sale indicates the car actually was purchased Sept. 10, 2010.

An invoice with Bellinger’s name on it dated Aug. 31, 2010, indicates a $48,000 expenditure for a “prize for 2010-2011 Internet/Viral Video Contest” and contains the name Bill Dube beneath the description.

Okaloosa County Finance Director Gary Stanford provided a county invoice listing nearly identical to the one obtained by the newspaper.

Zimmerman said he thinks the ease with which Bellinger was able to slip his Porsche purchase past anyone with oversight emboldened him to continue stealing from the county.

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