Update on Vero Communiqué’s Article on “Will Recently Retired Indian River County, FL Assistant Fire Chief Brian Burkeen be Arrested This Week?”

Burgeen horse

View of Mr. Burkeen’s Show Horse and Horse Trailers, Submitted to us by a Reader*

A reader recently wrote: “What’s the latest on the investigation dude. You can’t stir the pot then just walk away leaving everyone hanging.”

For one, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Department and two County Commissioners have confirmed there is an active investigation.

Additionally, we have more and more sources coming forward to support the allegations of embezzlement.  One reader asked why we cannot name the sources, but according to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, to which we adhere, “reserve anonymity for sources who may face…retribution. Journalists should be courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.*”

Perhaps the best way to update you is to cite some of the well over 20 comments on Vero Communiqué’s Facebook page; and then to provide some additional reporting.

  • One wonders if “today’s the day”… are there any updates?
  • Anybody know someone that’s had 2 cars catch fire and burn ? Seemed like a convenient way to end a large car loan. Well I only know one and it Brian Burkeen, seems odd he actually is a fire chief at all seeing he has no fire certification or education to account for his position.
  • Are you serious about this?
  • Ask anybody that worked with him.
  • First car was behind old ambulance squad, second was a vehicle he conveniently left a hot chain saw inside according to reports. His education speaks for itself and is no secret.
  • Even if this story is not true we should have a system of accountability of not one person to be in charge of money by himself or herself they should have a disintetested party over seeing how the money is spent therefore people don’t have a chance to steal…smhbt
  • Reflecting back on this, and for the author’s benefit, I don’t believe Burkeen ever received certification as a fire fighter from the State of Florida. He didn’t come up the ranks as a firefighter and was appointed by King to be his assistant. Possibly he got certified after his appointment but it would be an interesting factoid for readers.
  • Yes, I was aware of the investigation prior to reading this article. I was not commenting on the investigation but was commentating on the quality of the article. I concur with many of your points including fake news. It is difficult to consider articles valid when the author is unknown and sources of information are not cited. County government leadership both political and administrative have failed our public safety providers and in turn the community and citizens they were elected and hired to serve*.
  • I do not believe it at all. I have known Brian for many years and is a stand up guy.
  • Sounds like a smear campaign.

Then, in terms of information from other reliable sources*, a Lift Kit” for a Fire Department “Brush Truck” was found missing, and two were found at his house.

Another source reported that the Fire Department purchased new masks for their firefighters and Mr. Burkeen asked them to put their old ones in plastic and in a box and he would put them up for auction.  Which he did, but only just before the auction, so he was able to buy and resell them.

Yet another reported Mr. Burkeen was the only one to sign off on Barth Construction’s invoices for building all the Indian River County fire stations.

And another advised that the reason a warrant for Mr. Burkeen’s has not yet been issued is because the detective assigned to the investigation keeps digging for more improprieties, through interviews and records.

What would motivate, if true, as it seems, Mr. Burkeen to embezzle so much money from the Indian River County Fire and Rescue Department?

Once again, the source who provided the above photo indicated Mr. Burkeen has a passion for show horses.

According to http://www.equine.com, show horse “listings can range from free horses to steeds costing upwards of $100,000 – and sometimes far more for an elite show.”

http://www.horsetrailerworld.com lists used four horse trailers from $ 14,500 (2002) to $ 77,500 (2007).

All that does not include feed and maintenance.


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