Beary, Beary Interesting.

According to a press release by the Florida Commision on Ethics:

The Commission found probable cause to believe that KEVIN BEARY, Orange County Sheriff, had a conflict of interest when a corporation for which Beary served as President sold a domestic security product to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). At the time of the purchase, Beary also served as co-manager for an FDLE Regional Domestic Security Task Force. The Commission found probable cause that, because Beary was paid by the private corporation, he also had a prohibited employment relationship with an entity that was doing business with his agency (FDLE) and that the employment may have created a conflict between his private interests and the performance of his public duties as Sheriff and co-manager for FDLE’s Task Force.

The Commission also ruled that Beary may have misused his position and public resources by authorizing the use of Sheriff’s Office personnel, facilities, office equipment, and funds to pay for travel and office expenses during the development of the product, for the benefit of himself or others. Additionally, the Commission determined that there was probable cause to believe that information gained by Beary in his capacity as Sheriff and Task Force member may have been used for his personal benefit or the benefit of others.

Allegations that Beary solicited or accepted payments from the private corporation or that he knew or should have known that those payments were given to influence his official action as Sheriff or Task Force member were dismissed.

Ok so it’s not some scathing indictment of Sheriff Beary, but it reinforces the suspicion that he is a less than model Sheriff. Even if he’s not taking funds in order to influence action, the conflict of interest that arises by being a private security consultant and owner makes me a little uneasy.

Pat Campbell of 540W FLA asked a good question: If Beary used his position and department to produce a product, then shouldn’t all proceeds from that product belong to the taxpayers?

Something definitely smells.

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