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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Apr. 5, 2013 7 years ago

Charges filed against Flagler Beach fire chief, an Ormond resident

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The charges include tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.

BY ANDREW O'BRIEN | ASSOCIATE EDITOR, PALM COAST OBSERVER

The Flagler Beach Police Department has filed charges against Flagler Beach Fire Chief Robert Pace, of Ormond Beach, for tampering with evidence, a felony, and obstruction of justice — resisting officer without violence, a misdemeanor, according to documents.

According to a charging affidavit filed Thursday with the Flagler County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Pace, 41, on at least five occasions awarded unearned community service work hours to a community control probationer.

When Vitaly Tsabak, the community control probationer, presented the timesheet to the probation officer, the officer was suspicious of the hours of work, which were reported to be up to five hours, as well as the time of day — in some cases as late as 10 p.m.

A member of the Flagler Beach Fire Department who viewed surveillance footage said the probationer only stayed for about an hour, not five.

“After learning that a complaint had been lodged against (Pace), he then destroyed the video surveillance,” the charging affidavit states.

This is just the latest incident to surface in a troubled Flagler Beach Fire Department.

Earlier this year, three Flagler Beach firefighters, including former Fire Chief Martin Roberts, were fired after an investigation revealed that alcohol-related allegations were likely true.

Pace took over as acting fire chief in February to replace Roberts.

Although the charges have been filed, it's ultimately up to the State Attorney's Office to pursue the charges.

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