David Isnardi, husband of Brevard County Commission Chair Kristine Isnardi, remained in jail last weekend on racketeering and drug charges following a four-year investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement – and the bizarre corruption accusations read like a Netflix series.
David Isnardi, who was arrested around 2 p.m. Friday, had been Palm Bay’s deputy city manager from May 2015 through September 2017.
Sheriff’s records show Isnardi, 59, of Olivia Street in Palm Bay, faces charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit extortion, and conspiracy to possess two controlled substances – Oxycodone and Ethylone – with the intent to sell or deliver.
Court records show Brevard County Commission Vice Chair Bryan Lober, of Rockledge, appeared in court for Isnardi, mainly to enter his plea and seek bond for him. As he filed a notice of “limited appearance,” Lober is not expected to be Isnardi’s defense attorney at trial. Lober could not be reached by press time to say how his working relationship with Kristine Isnardi on the County Commission and his legal representation of David Isnardi wouldn’t pose a conflict.
Arrested along with Isnardi was Jose Aguiar, 48, of Grant Road in Palm Bay. He is charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering, records show.
Circuit Judge Kelly Ingram denied bond for Isnardi and Aguiar at a Saturday morning first-appearance hearing, reports show. But their attorneys said at the time they hoped to get bonds in a Monday hearing before Circuit Judge Nancy Maloney, who has been assigned to the case and knows the particulars.
The 14-page arrest warrant by FDLE Special Agent Bradley Lewis recalls recent years of alleged corruption within Palm Bay City Hall. In fact, Lewis wrote, the FBI contacted him in 2015 about the corruption allegations and “undue influence by city officials.”
He said his investigation showed Isnardi and Aguiar operated as an “enterprise” to conspire to commit extortion and bribery and deliver drugs. Lewis said he used a confidential source, “an integral employee” of the city, and wired him for recording Isnardi, Aguiar and others.
The warrant indicates Aguiar wanted to have his property rezoned for industrial use so he and Isnardi could run a scrap-metal business there.
But two Palm Bay City Council members, Jeff Bailey and Tres Holton, gave them concerns about not voting according to their plan.
On Sept. 12, 2015, the warrant states, Aguiar told the informant by telephone that he had delivered prescription painkillers to “the Clubhouse,” a home Aguiar owned on Canova Street that was often used for socializing by city officials. The painkillers were for Bailey, the warrant states, adding the informant told Lewis he thought Aguiar was trying to increase Bailey’s addiction to painkillers.
Further, the warrant states, Aguiar and the informant discussed placing surveillance cameras in the Clubhouse “for the specific purpose of recording … Holton having sexual relations with female prostitutes, which, according to the (informant), Holton frequently did.”
Holton, who has been friends with the Isnardis, declined to comment on the record.
Kristine Isnardi’s district includes the Indialantic area on the barrier island. She could not be reached for comment.