Recently Retired Assistant Fire Chief Brian Burkeen
According to reliable sources*, the Indian River County (IRC) Sheriff’s Department is investigating former Assistant Fire Chief Brian Burkeen for embezzlement; possibly to the extent of $ 400,000.
Will he be arrested this week?
The Sheriff’s Department has apparently been taking pictures at the Emergency Operations Center.
According to our sources, Mr. Burkeen had alledgely been spending IRC funds on tires and reselling them. Also, he may have been selling IRC fuel. We are told an IRC generator was found at his residence.
Mr. Burkeen was responsible for training, station maintenance, medical reporting and contact with hospitals.
In 2016 Mr. Burkeen received the “Chief Brian Nolan Award,” which exemplifies those who deserve esteemed recognition from the Treasure Coast Fire Chief’s Association.
The “Chief Brian Nolan Award” is dedicated to recognizing those individual Emergency Service providers, a squad, unit, or station who in the past year have served their agency and the community with distinction, and who have gone above and beyond by demonstrating extraordinary heroism performed in the line of duty.
It distinguishes an individual, squad, unit, or station whose act of courage or bravery goes above and beyond the call of duty; or those have demonstrated a superb level of professionalism whose actions have changed the science of fire fighting.
Mr. Burkeen’s actions may explain why the IRC Emergency Services Department, apparently year after year, has had a budget shortfall, which prevented the Department from purchasing budgeted equipment and firefighting gear.
It also may explain, we are told, why Mr. Burkeen seldom took vacation or sick time.
Should our reporting be true, it certainly does not reflect well on Fire Chief John King and former County Administrator Joe Baird.
* Publishers note: According to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, “reserve anonymity for sources who may face…retribution. Journalists should be courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.”