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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 5 months ago

Former Ormond Beach fire chief pleads not guilty to prostitution charge

Bob Mandarino was arrested after agreeing to pay $20 for sex with a woman working undercover with DBPD.
by: Jarleene Almenas News Editor

Former Ormond Beach Fire Chief Bob Mandarino was arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 22, after he agreed to pay a "prostitute" $20 for sex. The woman was actually working undercover for an operation with the Daytona Beach Police Department. 

According to an arrest affidavit, Mandarino approached the woman at 11:27 a.m. and struck up a conversation with her, during which they reached an agreement for sex. Mandarino told her he wasn't going to pay her until he "calmed down," because he was "nervous and did not want to go to jail." 

He was arrested after he pulled his vehicle into a parking lot at 850 Ridgewood Ave., in Holly Hill. 

Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington said in an email that he was "surprised and saddened" to learn about his arrest.

"I don’t know any details and have not seen any reports," Partington said. "Bob, like every American citizen is presumed innocent by law unless and until proven otherwise.  I wish him and his family the best and will keep them in my prayers."

Partington said Mandarino provided "great quality service" to the city's residents with no issues for many years. He said Mandarino had a "dedicated career of public service with no issues that I was ever aware of."

Mandarino was one of nine "johns" arrested during DBPD's Operation Blue Christmas, which targeted prostitution, narcotics, warrants sweeps, juvenile curfew checks and other proactive operations. He was released on a $500 bail just before 5 p.m. on the day of his arrest.

Court documents show that Mandarino's attorney, Michael Politis, has filed a written plea of not guilty on Mandarino's behalf. Politis also filed a waiver of appearance for pretrial hearings. This will allow Mandarino to not appear at any pretrail hearing. 

Mandarino served Ormond Beach for over 21 years, during which time he battled the wildfires of 1998 and was deployed to Biloxi, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. He became fire chief in 2012, and retired in late June 2018. 

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