Ex-commissioner accuses Fruitland Park mayor of illegal business deal



LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Renovations were just finished on a three-story home in the heart of Fruitland Park that belongs to Mayor Chris Bell.

According to a former city commissioner, it couldn't have gotten done without an illegal business deal involving the city community development director, who also owns a construction company in town.

Those allegations are under investigation, but the mayor vehemently denies them.

"I welcome it actually. The FDLE is doing a review. What we're -- I know they're not going to find anything," Bell said.

Former Commissioner Jim Richardson filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

It says the mayor received construction services from Charles Rector, a city employee.

In his complaint, Richardson claims the mayor never paid Rector and used city time to complete the work.

"Was any of the work done on city time or with city money to your knowledge?" Eyewitness News' Ryan Hughes asked.

"No, absolutely not," Bell said.

Richardson claims the mayor misused his office and was involved in unlawful compensation for official behavior.

The complaint also mentions Police Chief Terry Isaacs.

Richardson claims the chief committed perjury and lied nearly a dozen times during a video-recorded deposition taken for a retaliation lawsuit.

That suit was recently settled and Richardson got $150,000 from the city.