Okaloosa TDC probe expands

Published: Monday, October 29, 2012 at 03:43 PM.

Asked his response to the Sheriff’s Office’s overall scrutiny of county spending, Harris said he sees it as “payback for the budget.”

Ashley and commissioners grappled for weeks over the Sheriff’s Office’s fiscal 2013 budget until they reached a compromise in late September.

“It bothers the hell out of me,” Harris said. “They’re casting a really wide net. They’re just looking at every little thing to find something wrong.”

Each new revelation holds consequences for the commissioners, who have been saddled with much of the blame for Bellinger’s misdeeds.

Roberts said he looks back “a lot” at what Bellinger was able to pull off at the county’s expense and “absolutely” regrets not seeing through his deception.

“We know where the buck stops,” Roberts said. “We just got comfortable with the way it had operated for the prior 20 years. We fell into the trap.”


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