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Bobby Pace, Acting Flagler Beach Fire Chief, Faces Felony Charge Over Falsified Records

| April 4, 2013

Bobby Pace in his official Flagler Beach Fire Department portrait.

Bobby Pace in his official Flagler Beach Fire Department portrait.

It’s not getting better at the Flagler Beach Fire Department.

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Less than seven weeks after five of the department’s members were fired, including long-time Fire Chief Martin Roberts, the man installed in Roberts’s place–Bobby Pace–is facing a felony charge of tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice, according to an affidavit filed by the Flagler Beach Police Department today.

The charges are the latest development in a series of serious conflicts that have embroiled the Flagler Beach Fire Department and City Manager Bruce Campbell going back to last summer, when Campbell first attempted to fire Roberts. But it is the first instance involving a criminal allegation. Until now, all conflicts had been the result of administrative and personality issues.

The charges, if sustained, may put in question Campbell’s judgment, who chose not only to appoint Pace the acting successor to Roberts after the latest round of firings in February (even though Pace’s experience as a firefighter is limited), but who chose to retain him–meting out only a wrist-slap in the form of a three-day suspension–as the acting chief even after conceding that Pace had erred in the matter of the probationers’ records.

This latest development may again revive another perennial question that has bedeviled the Flagler Beach Fire Department: whether it should be autonomous or consolidated with Flagler County’s.

In a phone interview, Campbell at 5:45 p.m. startlingly said he was not aware of this latest development. “I don’t know about any felony charges,” he said. “This is all news to me.” He acknowledged meeting with Flagler Beach Police Chief Dan Cody earlier today, but, he said. “I meet with Cody every day, but I was not told of any charges.” As far as he was concerned, Campbell said Pace remained the acting fire chief. “Between tonight and tomorrow there’s not going to be any changes,” he said.” He added: “The only thing I know is the investigation was completed and it was sent to the State Attorney’s office.”

He’s right: the charges were filed at the Clerk of Court’s office and sent to the State Attorney’s office. It’s up to the State Attorney to decide whether to pursue them. “If it’s up to the State Attorney, then we’re going to have to wait for what the State Attorney says,” Campbell said.

Cody confirmed his meeting with Campbell earlier in the day, and that he told the city manager that “we had filed a complaint affidavit with the State Attorney’s office and the charges were pending their findings on the complaint.” Cody added: “We have probable cause that this possibly happened, and they submit it to the state attorney’s office and they check to see if it’s enough to file the charges.”

Campbell, remarkably, insisted that because the State Attorney had not yet filed charges, the affidavit regarding Pace did not amount to a “charge,” but merely to a “complaint,” requiring no urgent action on his part.

Pace, 41, the charging papers state, on at least five occasions awarded community service hours to probationer Vitaly Tsabak “that were not earned and were in essence falsely documented.”

Bruce Campbell (© FlaglerLive)

Patricia Davis, Tsabak’s probation officer, became suspicious when she looked at the hours submitted, because time sheets showed Tsabak logging up to five hours at a time, and doing so late in the evening, even though his job amounted to little more than janitorial duty at the fire department’s station. The station was under video surveillance. The times logged could be checked against the recordings, and were.

Davis, the charging affidavit states, “was able to confirm with Flagler Beach Fire Department staff who viewed the video surveillance of the aforementioned five alleged time periods of service that the hours were false and Tsabak’s Community Control was subsequently violated/revoked.” Witnesses at the station told the probation officer that Tsabak only stayed about an hour at a time to do the work. He Tsabak was sentenced to state prison until August 2015.

The five members of the department–the chief, firefighters Jacob Bissonnette and Shane Wood, and volunteer firefighters Steven W. Wood and Barbara Haspiel–were fired after allegations that they’d broken administrative rules regarding alcohol in the workplace. Appeals for the chief, Bissonnette and Shane Wood are ongoing. (Wood and Bissonnette’s appeal hearing ended in a split and therefore hung decision by a panel of four).

The charges get worse: “After learning that a complaint had been lodged against him,” the affidavit continues, Pace “did then destroy/erase the video surveillance depicting the aforementioned. After the files were deleted and at the genesis of the new historical recorded activity [Pace] is the only person observed” in the Flagler Beach Fire Department.

Three individuals are listed as witnesses in the affidavit: Jake Buissonnette, Donna Kearney of the Flagler Beach Police Department, and Jerry Pflueger of James Moore and Company, an accounting firm.

Before those allegations about alcohol on the station’s premises began circulating in January, Roberts, the fire chief, had given Bissonnette the go-ahead to investigate the record-falsifying allegation about Pace. Details of both sets of allegations were revealed in a 22-page independent investigative report the city manager commissioned from Daniel W. Langley, an attorney with the Fishback Dominick law firm in Winter Park. That report, filed the last day of January, relates that after Bissonnette gave Pace a heads-up about the investigation of the time sheet issue, Pace–according to other firefighters–marshaled several paid and volunteer firefighters “to submit written allegations to city management over the head of Chief Roberts” about the alcohol matter, “in order to avoid potential punishment for the alleged falsification records and to obtain a promotion.”

But the Fishback report downplayed those claims, finding them not relevant in relation to the alcohol issue. The firefighters were fired. Pace, who several firefighters have said is under the protection of City Manager Bruce Campbell, got a three-day suspension.

Pace, who lives on Lynnhurst Drive in Ormond Beach, did not come to the Flagler Beach Fire Department with an unblemished record. In February 1994, Pace pleaded no contest to a drunk driving charge, paid a $500 fine, had his license revoked for 180 days and was required to attend an alcohol safety education course.

Pace could not be reached in late afternoon. (A firefighter at the station said Pace was there, but in a meeting.) Steve Settle, the Flagler Beach City Commission chairman, was not aware of the charges when he was reached at his home and said “it would be awfully difficult to react unless I knew more of the facts.”

Sgt. Steve Parrish of the Flagler Beach Police Department said, referring to the process that led to the filing of the charging affidavit today, that “they’ve been working on it for two days.”

Campbell said the safety of the city is not in question since Pace remains the acting fire chief. Campbell’s reaction to the charging affidavit against Pace contrasts sharply with the decision he took to place his fire chief and two firefighters on paid administrative leave after allegations of alcohol improprieties emerged, but before the investigative report was conducted.

Charging affidavits are based on individual complaints and police investigations, leading up to the probable cause finding (or not). Public employees facing such charging affidavits are generally placed on leave pending the resolution of the case, even before the State Attorney has disposed of the matter. The Flagler Beach Police Department is facing just such a situation: Flagler Beach police officer Robert “Bobby” MacDonald was placed on paid leave in July, following the yet-unexplained shooting of his wife Karen McDonald. MacDonald is not facing charges. Yet he remains on leave. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has completed its investigation and conveyed it to the State Attorney’s office. A decision on those findings is pending.

Bobby Pace 707, Flagler Beach Fire Department

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74 Responses for “Bobby Pace, Acting Flagler Beach Fire Chief, Faces Felony Charge Over Falsified Records”

  1. madirishman says:


    Finally, all the things we have been saying from the beginning are coming out.

    For all of you in the City who may be in the City Managers “clique” you all probably won’t recognize this, it’s called “The Truth”!

    • fb member says:

      what about the citys rule of the fire chief must live within the city limits.we need a fire chief who has lived here for several years and that cares about the city and its people.

  2. intheknow57 says:

    Thank you for finally reporting the truth about what has really been going on there. This has been so frustrating to know and not have anybody report it or believe it.

  3. Cooter Brown says:

    AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE !!!!!!! What else has been kept from the city fathers.

  4. madirishman says:

    Why Mister Campbell, did you not bring this issue to the attention of the proper law enforcement authorities

  5. Maurice says:

    Finally the real truth is beginning to come out. Someone once warned the city officials not to throw stones from their glass house. Can’t wait to see how the city manager tries to weasel out of this one. Now if only the truth about him would unfold perhaps we could clean up this Payton Place and get it back to the quaint little village it was intended to be.

  6. Just Sayin'!! says:

    Don’t you have the timing wrong on this?? When you previously printed the story about the falsified documents and the entire legal finding document, it showed the investigation into the extra community service hours began AFTER the investigation into the other firefighters who had already broken city employee policy.

    This is obviously a last ditch effort from the termed employees at “if I’m going down, you’re going down with me…” Lets not forget two employees BOUGHT ALCOHOL ON DUTY AT THE STATION ON CAMERA while two others DRANK ALCOHOL IN FRONT OF PEOPLE AND THEN WENT TO A CALL IN CITY OWNED VEHICLES…

    I enjoy living in Flagler Beach, and I enjoy taking pride in our own city department…but…it is time to hand it over to the County…

  7. RG says:

    This is what can happen when you have out siders working in a fire station. were they expected to be fricken probation officers for the county? they put an inexperieced firefighter into an officers position without training.
    The City manager is working with minimum knowldge of emergency services experience. He dystroyed tape that was already reviewed by authorities because he does not realize the responsible position hes in (Pace).

    Hire more paid pros and live with your mistakes. If they can afford to buy a golf course they can afford to have an improved fire service.

  8. I say says:

    Typical. Just imagine what is there that we don’t yet know about.

    The Flagler County fireman who threw something at the car who’s driver later shot him should be facing felony charges too for throwing a deadly missile. Where is his charging affidavit? Don’t think for a minute if Flagler Beach fire department were to be placed under the county it would be any better!

    • Just Sayin'!! says:

      WHAT??? It was a water bottle!! Do you know him? He was shot with a .45!! Are you telling me that is justified?? On a side note, one of the bullets almost hit his 17 month old daughter…but I digress, you are probably correct…anybody who throws a water bottle deserves to be shot with a high caliber pistol at point blank range…

      I know Mr. Parkey…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hmm my question is : Where did all this information all of a sudden come up from? Second, what did the witnesses see? Third how come one of the witnesses is a former ex Flagler Beach disgruntled employee? Fourth the charges that are pending have nothing to do with the community service worker hours so the city is trying to charge Pace with tampering with evidence and they don’t have any evidence? No dates recorded for the DVD recordings. Sounds to me like its a former disguntled Flagler beach employee trying to stir up more trouble when they have no evidence. Nobody is saying how the ex employee (who is behind this whole thing) is a relative to the police chief. Quit slinging mud and move on.

    • dale quatto says:

      ive known Bobby Pace for twenty years, and he is one of the most hard working and honest people I know. to fire Bobby would be a loss for the people of flagler beach. I agree, get over it and move on

  10. Lois Lane says:

    So let me get this straight? Bobby Pace has lied and got 5 firefighters fired so he can be chief? And he is chief. But he has lied and been charged with lying on afidavits to put guys back in prison for 2 years or more becaused he lied and covered it up for Bruce, the city manager, he is still the chief of the Flagler Beach Fire Dept. These guys went back to prison because of him lying and he is still on duty? Holy cow! THIS IS FAIR? No other charges were ever proved beyond a doubt except 5 people banded together and got others fired from the fire dept. WOW way to go Flagler Beach city manager. Lets put a person in charge that has a Dui on his record and several open containers and 11 other moving violations on his record as chief! WTG! Lets believe him and not the others. What a crock of Chit. And now the charges that got him all riled up are public. Well we told you so. What a bunch of bull. People now can you see what went on? We can. Only the truth everyone should have seen. Well done Bruce, well done, and Bobby Pace well done chief well done!

  11. Dudley Doright says:

    It only gets worse! It is now time for the county to take over this sad excuse for a fire department. Hopefully, the city commissioners will get their collective heads out of their posterior end and do what is right for the citizens of Flagler Beach.

  12. Jojo says:

    “The Fishing Hole”
    Well, now, take down your fishin’ pole and
    meet me at The Fishin’ Hole,
    We may not get a bite all day,
    but don’t you rush away.
    What a great place to rest your bones and
    mighty fine for skippin’ stones,
    You’ll feel fresh as a lemonade,
    a-settin’ in the shade.
    Whether it’s hot, whether it’s cool,
    oh what a spot for whistlin’ like a fool.
    What a fine day to take a stroll and wander by
    The Fishin’ Hole,
    I can’t think of a better way
    to pass the time o’day.
    We’ll have no need to call the roll when we get
    to The Fishin’ Hole,
    There’ll be you, me and Old Dog Trey,
    to doodle time away.
    If we don’t hook a perch or bass,
    we’ll cool our toes in dewy grass,
    Or else pull up a weed to chaw,
    and maybe set and jaw.
    Hangin’ around, takin’ our ease,
    watchin’ that hound a-scratchin’ at his fleas.
    Come on, take down your fishin’ pole
    and meet me at The Fishin’ Hole,
    I can’t think of a better way
    to pass the time o’day.

  13. intheknow57 says:

    Anonymous…this is hardly new information. It was just covered up. Botom line…the law was broken and information was kept from the citizens of FB. Were you aware of Mr. Pace’s driving record related to alcohol!???? Hard to get hired in FB with that kind of record! Others have been turned down for lesser charges. Hmmm..I think you need to re-read the article to see why all this was done!

    • what a joke says:

      Did anyone posting here read what the charges are? LOL i forgot, that would be the intelligent thing to do! They are charging him with tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice-resist officer with out violence-quoted….(clearly stated in the affidavit above) What evidence are we talking about, still have yet to hear what he could get his hands on? Do you people not see that this is clearly just a lashing out from the ones who got fired for anything they could grab a hold of and this is the best they could come up with!?!? Do most of you know what this is really over?? Probably not! Just remeber one thing, flagler live is still considered “media” and dont have all the facts! These guys are looking to “take people out” because they feel they were “taken out” DUE TO THEIR OWN ACTIONS! Dont forget that part!!!!!

      @Lois Lane- Here ill help you get it straight… Bobby Pace didnt lie and get anyone fired, he stood for what he believed was right and they all got fired, because of the truth! If you dont remeber, there was an independent investigation performed from an outside agency. Everyone wants to hang on this chief thing like its the reason he brought any of it up, had nothing to do with it! He was put in a position I would never want to be in and had to act. What do you do, look the other way and then get screwed when these guys drink on duty, get in a wreck and kill someone? Then you know what your post would read, that damn PACE! Why didnt he say something if he knew about it?

    • dale quatto says:

      I think a 18 year old charge is a little to old to hold against this man. bobby has spent his life being a good and honest and productive member of society, and its a privlage to know such a man. I resent the fact that he is being bashed by so many people who have no idea of just what a good man he is. don’t convict Bobby until all the facts are in and has a chance to defend himself

  14. Waverider says:

    Flagler Beach definaty needs a new City Manager….how much more embarrassment can Campbell and this city stand? Do the Flagler Beach Commissioners have their heads in the sand? The biggest mistake they will ever make is allowing the county to take over; their a laughing stock too and can’t manage their own affairs.

  15. Robert Lewis says:

    Robert Pace is a disgrace as a firefighter. He has betrayed the publics trust.
    He should resign!!

    How can I trust firefighters to do the right thing when we have people like that at the helm? Shame on you Robert Pace!!!

    I call for your resignation today!!!!!

  16. Mel Bronson says:

    Be glad we don’t have Pres. Pinocchio living down here in Florida. Then you would really see what corruption is.

  17. Linda says:

    He is only charged with a crime. He is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    That said, it sounds like a web of disrespect and deception. Both vices are too prevalent in our culture and that it is depressing and disturbing.

    But, Flagler Beach, you do not want to join Flagler Couny and/or Palm Coast (where I live). They have tons of problems too. Joining them will just be another can of worms to deal with.

    • Robert Lewis says:

      Robert Pace was found guilty by the City Manager and given a 3 day suspension. Guilt has been proven already.

      Pace needs to Resign today!

  18. Luke says:

    Thank you for reporting this…it’s been a long while coming. Didn’t hints and obscure statements reporting on this come out back in January when it all hit the fan with the Chief and the other firefighters? Which brings me to the most important point — the differerence between allegations and facts. Will someone please tell me what former Chief Roberts Blood Alcohol Content was that he was fired for ALLEGEDLY having been drinking before going to a fire? I don’t believe that was ever brought out. Why? Ever stop to consider perhaps it was because he hadn’ been drinking but only accused of it? Yet Bobby Pace has a verified driving record which involves alcohol, video proof of wrongdoings and destruction of public records and is still the manager’s boy toy? Who doesn’t see this for what it was. I think rather than giving our fire department over to thecounty — which has problems of its own, we should clean house of those who REact to their own benefit and not react when facts dont support the truth. Commissioners are you listening? At what point will you say enough with this manager. How embarrassed must you be before complete shame is brought to our lovely city? Scandals and wrongdoings will not help tourism and it is definitely not what I want my city to be known for.

  19. Flagler Beach Resident says:

    If Parole and Probation is so concerned about how the FBFD is reporting community service hours, why are they still sending people there to do their hours?

    • madirishman says:

      Flagler Beach Resident ,

      That’s it, question a government employee when they do their job correctly.

      It is the Parole Officers job to be concerned when they notice inconsistencies with the parolees they are charged with monitoring. Not all of those sentenced to community service are like the one caught in the act of violating the terms of his release and subsequently returned to prison. Not all have their sentences shortened illegally by a less than scrupulous acting fire chief so why punish the others?

      Or do you think the acting fire chief …or others…. at the FBFD are STILL “rounding up” time sheets and violating the law? Is that your concern? Hmmmmm….I wonder how many others may have done the same thing and didn’t get caught? And what was the motive for Pace to break the law? Was money involved? Are there others involved that are STILL working at the FBFD? Maybe there is more that needs investigating here….good point.

      • RG says:

        Convicts belong in jail thats why they were convicted of a crime. Its called punishment. Its disrespectful to have a piece of crap around our countrys finest heros. Send them to cleanup the Sherrifs dept to mop floors. Cause im sure thier floors are dirty. Fierefighters clean thier own house every day. Parole sounds like they want the fire dept to baby sit. Security cameras really? In a fire station sounds creepy to me.They should only record when the station is unsecure. Sound like the fire station was set up for failure. Like mice around a baited mouse trap.

  20. Jackie Mulligan says:

    As usual when I am through reading any article I am left with more questions than answers.

    How long was this man employed by the FBFD ?

    Who was in charge of the hiring and doing background checks?

    Are background checks done on all employees before hiring ?

    I see a lot of back and forth comments from the friends of the people who were fired, as my Mother used to say 2 wrongs don’t make a right.
    Lets take this man’s case as that, his, not as it compares to someone else’s .Whatever he did or did not do, does not take away the facts from the other people who were fired.

    The Fire dept has had it’s share of problems since i can remember , just as somo of the others departments have.
    I hate seeing negative press about F.B all the time We are such a small town probably less than 5,000 people and less than probably 70 employees.We were chosen as one of the best small towns in America, lets live up to that designation.

    Please some one stop the nonsense, get working on bettering the public image of this community.
    Look at your hiring policies, it starts with hiring the best we can doing good background checks,and,no cronyism
    .With unemployment at such a high rate in Flagler County. we should be able to have our pick.
    Thank you,
    Jackie Mulligan
    30 year resident!

    • Randy says:

      A background and drug test would not provide a view into the future of what one will do after they are hired, and guarantee once one is hired that they will do no wrong..

      It doesn’t matter how long he has been employed. That would not change the fact that the law may have been violated.

      The fact is, there needs to be zero tolerance to inappropriate behaviors, and the game playing will stop. Too much has been being over looked and this has allowed the boundaries to be tested.

  21. intheknow57 says:

    Jackie;;;some of those who were fired served your city well and brought lots of good things you probably don’t even know about. How do you think you got those bikes that the EMT’s ride on during holidays to get to injured people quickly when A1A is too crowded for trucks to get through quickly? I can tell you it was not from the city manager. To put people on leave for being accused a violating a city ordinance off duty…with a clean work record, then leave someone with Pace’s driving record and now felony charges is absolutely crazy and shows Bruce Campbell’s true colors. Who did your fb’s web sight free of charge to save the dept money?? Who gives their own time standing in the road collecting money in a boot for charity??? Yet these men were not even given a chance for a lesser punishment. None of them were ever charged with a felony ON duty, or have DUI and open container charges on their driving records…but Pace is still acting chief??? Really…you don’t see a problem of fairness here or favoritism??? Open your eyes to the corruption…. And yes..they do a background driving record check

  22. intheknow57 says:

    to what a joke…you say no evidence??? It was admitted that he got a slap on the wrist for falsifying the time sheet on a person doing community service. That person went back to jail for that violation. You have no idea what you are talking about. Mr. Pace signed those sheet and fire fighter’s, not the ones fired, have verified that the guy was only there for about an hour. Why was he sent back to jail if this did not happen. And now the video of it was manually erased…really???? No evidence???? And why was he not put on leave while Mr. Campbell paid a law firm to do an investigation on him??? This is a far more serious infraction and he is still allowed to work by Bruce Campbell??? Are you blind to what has really happened and is continuing to happen under this guy???? Or are you one of his boys as well???? So tired of hearing this is an act of revenge…did you ever think Pace did what he did so he wouldn’t get caught????


    This was copied from from”eyeonflagler”
    I happen to agree 100%……..please read.
    STOP THE INSANITY! Now is the time for a county takeover. It makes sense for all involved.
    1) Will put an end to the infighting and division in the dept.
    2) Will be staffed imediately.
    3) Will save Flagler Beach taxpayers money.
    4) Will be part of the county wide consolidation that is sure to come in the future.
    5) Will provide better fire protection.
    6) Will have chain of command already in place.
    7) Will continue to have rescue provided by the county.
    8) Will be the smart thing to do!
    Please use your heads and forget hometown rule and the “good ole boys” syndrome and do whats right for all involved.

    • Icancup says:

      Not true, and anyone one that believes a county takeover would be best is foolish. Too many good ol boys filling their pockets on the tax payers dime in the county…..same game…different place. It’s all about who you know, not what you know. The first step is to have a city manager that doesn’t give wrist slaps, and who is ethical himself. How can one expect more from someone else than he does from himself?

    • Let The Truth be Told says:

      Sorry, you could not be futher from the truth. Flagler Beach would be copping out on the responsiblity to provide core services. It WILL NOT be cheaper. Yes, anything would be better than what is going on now!! HIRE someone who cares to do the right thing, not someone looking for a place to relax and do nothing. The main reason is to keep control of your core services!!!! Giving the county the fire dept. will cause Flagler Beach to lose all control of cost and services provided. It’s time to rebuild the fire dept. into what the citizens of Flagler Beach deserve and are looking for!!!! Please, if any Flagler Beach officals even read this stuff….. Reconsider giving up control of your Fire Dept.

    • Ray Thorne says:

      How would it save taxpayers money? Still have to house firefighters still have the building and equipment. Those tax dollars now would just be rerouted.

  24. kozibonn says:

    I’ve been following all the City of Flagler Beach drama for a little over a year now…. all the Articles, the Wrist Slaps, the Cover Ups…. seems to me I remember VERY clearly someone calling out Bobby Pace in January …. and they were all but called a liar, and sweep, sweep, sweep, under the rug it went. Bobby Pace was found “Guilty” by the “City Manager” and given 3 days suspension…. but is STILL the Fire Chief??? Corruption, deception, cover ups….

    The TRUTH always comes out… you can run, but you can’t hide.

  25. Public Employee says:

    Corruption in local government is a pitiful shame. Investigations like this cast a shadow on the City of Flagler Beach, firefighters and all public employees. No one is perfect, however, people who work for the public should be held at a higher standard. It’s no wonder we have citizen apathy and low voter turnout, many people feel betrayed by their representatives, elected officials and employees in government. This is why! As a public employee and taxpayer, I am outraged. Who pays for all of this? We do. Flagler Beach Police Department, Flagler Beach City Manager, Clerk of Court, State Attorney and 7th Judicial Circuit… all of them public agencies funded with tax dollars. Now Flagler Beach needs a new Fire Chief. Again. More time spent hiring, more tax dollars spent. Time is money. This is an embarrasing waste of both for the whole county.

    Anyone who is employed by a public agency, and therefore paid with tax dollars, should appreciate every moment of the opportunity to serve. I know that for many, it’s a thankless job sometimes. The public can be nasty and hateful. It takes a lot of patience to deal with people, but I thank God everyday I have a job. I appreciate the working public who sacrifice everyday to pay my salary. I pay taxes too. I’m raising a family. I know times are tough, it’s not easy for me either. There are plenty of public employees and elected officials who make a whole lot more than I do. I just want to say that I know from personal experience that there are public employees here in our local community (all the way from the bottom to the top of the pay scale) who appreciate the taxpayer and work hard to get the job done. Unfortunately, as we see with news like this, it’s just not true for everyone.

    *** NEWSFLASH: If you’re not doing your job while at work, you’re stealing from your employer. It’s called accountability. If you need to, pretend someone is watching. ***

    I just don’t understand the negative attitude of people, including those I work with, who are blessed with such fortunate employment, job security and a well-paid position. Even low pay is better than no pay. Be happy with what you have! Once the negative attitude works itself out, this is the result.

    Is it poor work ethic? Pride? Generational? Whatever the label or whatever excuse, I believe it comes down to a lack of gratitude and personal obligation. No one is thankful anymore! Do you not realize the opportunity you have? There are so many people who are struggling and need your job. Who would jeopardize their livelihood in this economy? Who would dare to abuse their position, funded by the people you serve? This hurts everyone, not just you and your family! Your coworkers, the entire community is affected by your choices. Public employees now deal with angry people because of you.

    I know so many who need a job or a better job, who are willing to work hard and provide for their families. I’m overwhelmed sometimes with people I see who aren’t thankful for what they have. If you’re not happy with little, you won’t be happy with a lot. Get over yourself.

    I don’t mean to be interpreted in saying that anyone mentioned in this article is guilty until that’s been proven. I’m saying there is terrible misuse of public employment and tax money going on here and beyond Flagler Beach and it’s damaging to the community. I know there’s a good chance a guilty person might be reading this so I hope it’s a reality check. No one is guaranteed tomorrow.

  26. John B says:

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Have the County take over… What a joke.

  27. Icancup says:

    Well see what the Flagler Beach commissioners are made of…..lets see if they keep this city manager after this mess. They need to find a city manager who is on the same page as they are.

    • concerned citizen says:

      How can that happen when you have commissioners in the managers office and not to mention gave him an outstanding performance evaluation. Hmmm why is it that they are all visiting the Fire Dept. all of a sudden behind closed doors? Seems to me there is a HUGE cover-up in place.

  28. Pamala says:

    I agree with Jack Mulligan.. Flagler Beach. Is drama trauma paradise in regards to the lack of vision regarding Mr. Holmburg and especially the ‘buddy bubba’ mob.

  29. Sherry Epley says:

    Right on Jackie! As a professional recruiter and management consultant for 20 years, I can speak from experience and say that back ground checks are absolutely necessary to find high quality employees. . . especially for those positions of public safety and trust. That kind of hiring process should be “standard operating procedure”, 100 percent of the time.

    How soon we forget that our city commissioners left Flagler Beach without an official City Manager for quite a long time before Mr. Campbell was finally hired. Saying that, clearly, now is the time to professionally re-evaluate every member of the crew that provides fire and rescue services to our town. If back ground checks were not performed when they were originally hired, they should certainly be completed now. . . it is never too late to create a high quality, professional team. If “cleaning house’ and replacing more fire fighters is needed, then so be it. In this high unemployment economy, there must be plenty of qualified candidates for those positions. Moving our fire protection services to the county, where resources are already stretched to the max, is not the solution.

    I highly recommend that once the fire fighter personnel are re-evaluated, the same re-evaluation process should be perfomed for all other city employees as well. In that way, one department would not be “singled out” and perhaps there have been other issues that have not been addressed during the time we did not have a fully authorized city manager.

    • Icancup says:

      Background checks don’t predict the future. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize and understand this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you Sherry,

        I started on my life journey many years ago as a clerk in a HR office, they weren’t called HR then it was called personnel/payroll..We had policies in place that had to be adhered to and people way smarter than me made the rules..
        I was in charge of sending and getting responses from past employers and personal referals.And that didn’t mean just your friends .
        My work was then checked by yet another clerk,Get it ? these are tried and true policies in business.
        Added later were specialized tests, to further weed out possible problems.
        Now to get to the heart of this subject….. this is all done because training and monies put into new employees, evaluations etc, cost employers money.Every time you fire, or lose an employee,or do investigations , ….. it costs money.
        So Icancup, the past is a pretty good prediction of the future, that is why mega corporations and educated people still do it this way,
        And is be done in well run cities also.
        This is taxpayer monies that are being spent and wasted by not having all policies adhered to.
        We continue do the same thing and expect different results, well we all know what that is called, don’t we?
        Sorry for taking up so much space, but, I am really tired of reading about the constant employee problems in this very small city.
        Thank You,
        Jackie Mulligan

  30. Just a thought says:

    Let’s be clear about something. Mr. Pace has not been charged with anything. Police Chief Dan Cody took a complaint from Jake Bissenent, a disgruntled ex employee. Chief Cody had his detective investigate and then the information went to the State’s Attorney. No charges. No nothing. Many people here want to convict this man yet the only thing we know that happened, he was already punished for.

    Oh, by the way, did you all know that Chief Cody and Jake Bissenent are related by marriage? Something stinks here.

  31. An Orlando Firefighter says:

    Sherry. Members within the Fire Deapertment do go through a background check. It’s a State law…they also must submit a copy of their driving record which goes back to the past 7 years and notify the department if they receive any type of traffic citation. On top of that they get drugged tested with their physical, and tested if involved or injured in any accident. Hope this answered your question.

  32. shark says:

    This is amazing – Sgt. Jamie Roster – FCSO – falsified time sheet to the tune of $8,000 and he was suspended one day without pay and returned to full duty – Where’s the Justice????

  33. madirishman says:

    Pace admitted to “rounding up” the time sheets but the investigation determined that he “rounded up” not minutes but HOURS!!!….. on several occasions? If Pace “rounded up” minutes as he has suggested it begs a few questions,

    Wouldn’t the video evidence confirm this assertion so ….Why destroy the video evidence?

    Also, what would motivate Pace to pad several hours on several occasions to someone he claims he barely even knows? What is that motivation?

    Why would they also try to look at Pace’s former partner Dustin Snyder? Seems that there is a lot more to this story and many more unanswered questions.

  34. long time flagler beach says:

    It seems that most of the posters on this article have a vested interest one way or the other besides the protection they recieve. Do you remember the draw bridge ? I do. Do you remember the ferry? I do. Do you remember the nonsense with the kids, sex, drugs, that have plagued our city fire department for the past 20 year’s? I do. A lot of the old volunteers that I know will tell you that’s why they left. What I can’t remember is when that fire department was run without controversy. We can all keep telling ourselves that the next group will be better and keep our heads in the sand. Or we can tellI ourselves that we tried, we gave it 20+ years to get better and it’s time to move on. I love my town, thats why i picked this to be my home 25. Years ago. And up to this point I have kept my mouth shut, but I can’t sit and watch the reputation of the town I love be tarnished by people who think we have ever had CONTROL over our fire department

  35. Sherry Epley says:

    Here is a sample of the comments on a firefighter web site statter911 . . . a poor reflection of our town, and code enforcement in general:

    Mid West Chief says

    Tried to stay in Flagler Beach for the Daytona 500 a couple of years ago. Checked into the “Motel” and immediately went for a refund. No working smoke detectors and the structure had major building maintenance/code issues. Had dinner, on my way out of town, (it was getting late), I stopped at one of the more popular restaurants… exposed wiring with numorous exposed splices… exit lamps out… extension cords hanging from the ceiling ect. I am of the impression that little, if any, life safety code enforcement is taking place in the city of Flagler Beach. It seemed third world. This article does not surprise me one bit.

    on January 10, 2013 @ 5:22 pm. Reply

    David S. says

    Mid West Chief you are so correct. Even though this station is located in Flagler County not in the big area like city of Palm coast they do not have a fire inspector or they do not seem to care about any fire codes. When I was a vol ff many years ago every weekend we took the engines out and did home inspections( Business too) which saved many fires from starting. So your comment is very sad to read this kind of stuff still goes on in 2013.

    on January 11, 2013 @ 2:29 pm. Reply

    xray says

    Hookman believes that you can be insubordinate to a chief officer and that it is justified if you believe your right. Doesn’t matter if the rule is written in black and white and have been ordered verbally.I dont expect a non-officer to see the logic in discipline,integrity,chain of command and leadership by example.And in discipline I dont mean punishment,but how you carry yourself.Doing whats right inspite of not being in the presence of superiors.That’s what missing in organizations today no discipline.

  36. Sherry Epley says:

    While I’m happy to learn that Florida state law requires “criminal” background checks when hiring firefighters, it appears on the surface that traditional “human resource” processes of in depth reference checking and semi-annual performance evaluations may have slipped through the cracks.

    I’m sure, with our town having gone without an authorized city manager for quite some time, Mr.Campbell had a large amount of pressing issues to deal with when he finally was installed in his City Manager position. This situation should now be made a priority for our city leaders and management. . . hopefully working together as a professional team.

  37. fb member says:

    when bobby was hired the city knew of his previous charges he did the crime and paid the time .chief roberts hired him .bobby is a hard worker . it is interesting how other members of the dept. have been trying to move attention away from the alligations of the retirement system being altered with to give benifits that were not earned seems like they could easily look it up on the survalence system or was it tampered with also?

  38. Flagler Citizen says:

    In any situation where serious allegations are involved, I always believe it essential that those people conducting the investigation(s) be totally neutral and have no previous knowledge of or involvement with any of the persons under investigations. Without any bias involved, I believe a number of people reading this ongoing scenario are very concerned that the Chief of the Police Dept that conducted the investigation is somehow related to the individual bringing the accusation and that the lead investigator on the case has known the family of one of the former employees for more than 20 years. With these things “in play”, I think many residents would have felt better that the Police Dept. and its employees recuse themselves from the investigation and contact the FDLE or some other organization accordingly.

    • madirishman says:

      Are you saying the FBPD is just as crooked as the current FBFD? LOL

      Are your implying that Chief Cody is letting family bias enter into this investigation? Really? And the proof you have is???

      Yet you have no problem with favoritism shown to Pace by the City Manager and a certain City Commissioner he meets with? Chief Roberts, 2 fireman and 2 volunteers are suspended / fired for allegedly breaking city rules. They were not charged with breaking any laws. And Pace allegedly falsified documents, obstructed justice and destroyed evidence, (ALL ILLEGAL LAW BREAKING ACTIVITIES) gets a 3 day (weekend) suspension by the city manager and keeps the job he ascended to by reporting the rule breaking issues? And you have no problem with it? Why were these alleged violation of laws NOT reported to the proper authorities by the FBFD’s boss? LOL

      All of this and you have not questioned the so called independent investigative report that all the previous issues were based on?

      Why was it that the law firm hired by the city and paid $18,000 NEVER interviewed witnesses suggested by the defendants?

      The defendants were the LAST ONES to be interviewed and provided the so called independent investigator with a list of witnesses and NONE of them were interview….but I suppose you have no problem with that. Why is it that many of the witnesses from the x-mas party were drinking themselves yet were deemed credible by this so called independent investigator ? No problem there either huh?

      No matter, the courts will filter through all of this and the dust will eventually settle. The more this city’s designated leaders show bias and favoritism the worse they’re going to look to the legal system. Hopefully Pace will get his day in court as well.

  39. farmer says:

    The replacement of Bruce Cambbell would only start the endless hours and lost money for a new city manager and Mr. Campbell has proven he can more than do the job. In the past searchs we got job s
    earchers that were parasites and more expensive than current. Paces previous DUI was years ago and I’d like to see all the GOODIES out there that are PRISTINE and above all this. Let up.

    • FB Insider says:

      So the fact that he covered up Pace’s criminal act (remember, he ADMITTED it) makes it ok? He can “more than do the job”? In past searches you had over a 30MORE QUALIFIED candidates with EXPERIENCE but the residents of Campbell’s neighborhood turned it into a popularity contest, resembling more of an election than an appointment. In the article ( it states “But many of those who did speak stressed that a petition with a few hundred names on it, supportive of Campbell, should be an obvious indication of the support Campbell had. ”

      I don’t understand how someone was selected over candidates with previous experience as city manager’s elsewhere were overlooked; oh yes, that’s right, read the above. The position is supposed to be APPOINTED by the City Commission, not ELECTED by a public outcry in the commission chambers. It also shouldn’t be simply because someone lives in town. Other candidates knew, and were willing to move into town.

      At the end of the day, Campbell KNEW, by Pace’s own admission, that a crime had occurred and he FAILED to report it to law enforcement. He gave Pace a 3-day suspension and allowed him to take the city vehicle home to Ormond Beach. He has NO RIGHT to impose punishment for a criminal act, that is the job of the court. Furthermore, if your suspended, WHY should you be able to continue to utilize a city vehicle, OUT OF COUNTY at that burning up taxpayer fuel while your being punished? Why don’t you look into last year when Chief Roberts was suspended. He was suspended mid-day, had to turn in his keys, and was driven home by a Flagler Beach Police Officer to his home in Seminole Woods. Again, explain to me how any of what Campbell has done is right? Please? I’m dying to know your explanation.

    • madirishman says:


      Your right, Pace’s previous DUI, open container and suspended license convictions were years ago….but his current behavior and lack of respect for the law are more troublesome than ever and shows a long time tendency toward poor decision making. Hopefully he’ll get to explain it this time in a court of law.

      As for “Cambbell” and lost money…well lets not get started on that. It would be better to have a city manager not tied to a personal agenda centered on trying to oust city employees that do not agree with everything he says or does. I think more information and legal action is coming on the city’s purchase of the golf course….you know, the golf course located in Campbell’s back yard! And will Favoretta Lawn and garden get a contract for the golf course?

  40. Brian says:

    Pace did nothing against the law. It is common parctice to give extra time to good work. The main complaint is from Jake B and he has done it along with hundreds of employees all over the county. The parol office knows about this and has no problem with it. Just call them. This is Jake B trying to make a good man look bad. Its what kids do!!

    • madirishman says:


      Of course the “parol” office doesn’t have a problem with it. The MAIN complaint came from the Dept. of Corrections “parole” office. That may be where your confusion begins.

      If facts mattered to you or those you defend you would realize that ALL of this started because of the Department of Corrections request for an investigation. Jake B. only complied with this request under the direction of Chief Roberts and ALL of it took place BEFORE Pace and the rest of his cronies files any of their trumped up charges. The fact is that the Dept. of Corrections DOES have a problem with it and have punished the parolee by sending him back to prison because of it! Now, (per order of the Dept. of Corrections) community service individuals can no longer serve their time at the FBFD because Pace is still employed there…..I guess the FBFD is just gonna have to do their own work now.

      Pace’s attempt to destroy evidence and obstruction of justice are added on complaints to his falsifying documents complaint.

      BTW – If you have evidence of Jake B and hundreds of others destroying evidence, falsifying documents and obstructing justice please present it, other wise you just look more foolish.

  41. kozibonn says:

    @ Brian… Pace did “nothing against the law”??? Are you serious??? Why then is he facing FELONY CHARGES???? “Bobby Pace–is facing a felony charge of tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice, according to an affidavit filed by the Flagler Beach Police Department today”
    Parole Office has “no problem with it… just call them” – NOT sure where you get your info…but you DO KNOW don’t you that the “extra hours” resulted in Tsabak being sentenced to state prison until August 2015. I’m certain that is because… it is “not against the law” and the Parole Office has “no problem with it” …. SMH

  42. intheknow57 says:

    Brian…If Pace did nothing against the law, why did the guy go back to jail? He said he rounded off. Rounding off would be like 10-15 minutes. To leave that man unaccounted for for a few hours a few times not only was against the law…but left a criminal to roam around freely when he was supposed to be home or at community service. How safe does that make you feel???? You are quick to blame Bissonnette…but go through the facts and see who contacted Bissonnette to begin with. Talking without the facts…that’s what kids do!!!

  43. An Orlando Firefighter says:

    FBFD is an outstanding department now. Some of the best Firefighters are staffing it now. I am sure they will strive to be one of the best.. They continuously train, seek higher education, and are in top physical shape. There has been more positive change in the past 4 months than there has been in the past 4 years. Did you know that one of the recently fired employees tested for another fire department and couldn’t even pass the physical agility.

    • FB Insider says:

      Outstanding? I guess if you consider a bunch of kids protecting a city outstanding. Did YOU know that the ENTIRE line staff of the FBFD had 14 years of COMBINED experience? The FBFD website even states their time in service. The two terminated members combined had 30 years of experience. Let’s also talk about higher education for a minute. One of the members gets PAID by the government to go to school due to being former military. He isn’t going to better the department, he MAKES MONEY by going. The others are just positioning themselves for promotional positions coming down the pike. By the way, the two terminated already have the classes done. Oh yea, and for the record, I am VERY familiar with the employee in question and your statement is a flat out lie and holds ZERO merit.

      If we want to talk about how “outstanding” the department is, let’s talk about some recent events in the FBFD:

      1.) On a recent brush fire, they had their hose loaded REVERSE and didn’t even know it until another agency tried connecting to a hydrant. Oh, and did I mention the two firefighters on the truck that day had difficulty pumping water from their own truck? FACT.
      2.) On a medical call, Flagler County Rescue 11 needed additional manpower in the rear of the ambulance. Instead of sending the rookie in, the firefighter “in charge” rode in on the ambulance, leaving a NEW FIREFIGHTER with less than 2 MONTHS of experience on the truck with a relatively new volunteer. On the way to the hos[pital, this new firefighter rolled up on a serious crash involving a motorcycle. Upon exiting the truck, she left a portable radio in the truck, not allowing her to relay VITAL information to the incoming ambulance. Upon the ambulance arrival, the crash was serious enough that they immediately requested a helicopter. She could have relayed the information sooner, allowing the helo to warm up and have a LZ established. Delayed a helicopter for a critical patient. FACT.
      3.) Allowing a NON-CERTIFIED “mechanic” to act as a “Lieutenant” (he has the plates on his truck and the uniform brass) even though he is NOT A FIREFIGHTER, nor does he have ANY fire officer classes. FACT.
      4.) Sending non-forestry certified firefighters to wildfires earlier this year. FACT.

      I could go on all day. This is the result of having a “Chief” with only 6 years in the fire service, TOTAL. On top of that, with only one department with 1,000 calls a year or less. In addition, having shifts with an average age of 21 just makes for rompa-room. Just wait, FBFD will be in the headlines again. The place is a ticking time bomb with that much inexperience and immaturity.

    • madirishman says:

      To: An Orlando Firefighter

      “Outstanding department………striving….positive change”?


      Well, Mr. Campbell see it another way, he has finally admitted that he no longer trusts his employees to be in charge of parolees. He recently sent a letter to the parole board that his Flagler Beach firefighters can no longer be a part of the parole work program.

      Guess his “Outstanding department, best, striving, positive change firefighters” just can’t be trusted….. with criminals?

      That fire house is now the joke of the county!

  44. An Orlando Firefighter says:

    B.Pace,D.Kennedy,S.Cox, and, D.Snyder have a combined 21 years of experience. The other 2 are temporary full time to fill the spots of those who were fired until the department can hire. The 4 have their fire officer 1 and two of them have fire officer 2. Two of them are Paramedics! To list all the other continuing education and training would take up too much space, but you can stop by the station and ask.

    Lets clarify some things..

    1.)The hose was not loaded wrong its called a “System Load” look it up. Many Fire Depts have it set up like that. That day that crew saved 3 houses with the other agencies.

    2.)R-11 transported an unstable patient. They requested help from FBFD . The newer firefighter didn’t ride in because the patient was unstable and they wanted someone with experience. Wouldn’t you want the best providing patient care to your loved one? And how did you know she lost her radio? We’re you in the truck?? All hearsay. She never delayed anything lol She did a fantastic job and had the patient flown out and at a trauma center within THE GOLDEN HOUR!

    3.)the “Lieutenant” is a volunteer. He does not go into fire. He is support and helps fixing things which saves the city and taxpayers money!

    4.) All the paid firefighters have their wild land firefighter. Oh but wait… Did you know you do not have to be DOF certified if you have your firefighter II certificate to fight fire. IT ONLY APPLIES TO DEPLOYMENT and full time DOF!!

    FBFD ran approx 1100 calls.

    The average age between the 8 employees is 28.

    Insider all of your information has just been proved WRONG!

    The new chief has done more in 4 months than the old chief has done in 4 years,
    The two “new” guys have done more since they started than the other 2 their entire career. With 30+ years of experience you would think they would know better than to buy, store, and drink at the firehouse..

    FBFD has a fresh start and is heading in the right direction. Have a nice day!

  45. DK says:

    I do get paid to go to school that is a benefit for serving my country. I can use the GI Bill for ANY degree (even a higher paying job) but I used it for my fire science and my business management degrees. Graduated with making presidents and deans list every semester and also received Daytona State student of the year. If anyone has questions about my experience I was combat rescue in special forces and also life guard for Volusia county. It goes hand in hand with what I do for my job now.
    Your constant bashing of our department is just last ditch effort to continue to make us look bad. Find something better to do with your free time please. And if anyone has any other questions on myself or the department please come by and ask. Thank you.

  46. Brian says:

    Call the parole office. I spoke with the supervisor. No problems there. The convict went back to jail because he skipped town. Nothing to do with Pace.

    • FB Insider says:

      That’s not what it says on the paperwork I read under “Violation of Condition”. And for the record, I DID call, and the supervisor I spoke to (who runs the office) said nobody has called.

      • madness says:

        Madirishman- If that complaint came from the dept of corrections why arent they involved? And why did this indivdual “actually” go back to jail? And ironically all of this “falsifying” documents came about the day before the city was going to present the acusations to the 4 of them as far as the drinking goes, that doesnt make you wonder why out of the clear blue a common practice that everyone is guilty of is all of a sudden getting pinned to one individual and it just so happens its the one who those guys felt caused their problems as far as the drinking allegations? And as far as community service workers not being allowed over there becasue Pace is still employed there, youre wrong…. And as far as the evidence thing goes on everyone else, the time sheet thing has gone like that for YEARS and never once had a problem. And “ironically” the day before these guys get served their papers this all of a sudden becomes a problem? Why would you not reward good work?

  47. Steve C says:

    I have been a PAID Firefighter since 2005, and a Fire Medic since 2007, I am one class away from my Fire Officer II. I take my Instructor I test this month. I have multiple USAR classes under my belt and am Ocean Rescue qualified. I am attending Smoke Diver (basically special forces of fire service) in Dec with another member from this department. Stop trying to slander this department. If you want to know more or question my credibility please come to the station and ask.

    “The new A shift”

  48. Brian says:

    Mr Daniel has no issues with the fire dept or Mr Pace. All of this is from a poor little discruntled EX employee. His name is the only one on the investigation. And he is related to the police chief. Funny how that works.

  49. Fired up says:

    There is a bigger storm than the FD brewing. Lets just say… Do NOT eat the southern fish. They are not the brown trout you are used to. Just saying…wecubc

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