New Smyrna Beach CRA does business with merchant leader who has $1 million IRS lien

Segment 9 videos produced by Multimedia Editor Sera Frederick / Elaine Stathakis identifies herself as a "business owner" in the video to the left at a public meeting last year on the Hampton Inn project. In the second video, she tries to conceal her face from the camera while a resident asks city officials about curbing public drinking following the "Creepy Crawl" Halloween events put on by the Merchants of Flagler Hospitality Group chaired by Stathakis. 

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- When Elaine Stathakis took to the podium at a city commission meeting last year to talk about the importance of approving the beachside hotel on Flagler Avenue, she identified herself as a business owner. But Stathakis conveniently left out one little detail: She owes the IRS more than a million bucks.

To top it off, not only does she not own a business, she doesn't even have a job. Instead, she "volunteers" at the Om Bar, said Mark Leone, the actual owner. checked the court records in the 7th Judicial circuit of all merchant leaders, city administrators and elected officials for both criminal and civil issues and came across the lien. The results for a few are revealing on their own, but none come close to this. It took the better part of two days to check out two dozen people either receiving or handing out taxpayer-supported CRA grants.

Stathakis has repeatedly declined to speak with NSB News about the IRS lien.

CRA Director Tony Otte was asked if he was aware of her credit issue or if her knew her job status except to say he heard she was "a manager or something."

Asked if he was surprised or if a credit check was run on her or other merchants receiving taxpayer funding regardless of credit history. He didn't answer the question.

Editor's Note: NSB News made a public records request Sept. 29 for inspection of the receipts for the Flagler Hospitality and had consistently been told it had no itemized receipts to back up spending by that private group. Then as this story was being written, the city said it had the receipts after all and that NSB News would have to make an appointment to see the receipts. will prepare a newly revised story on the city's dealings with Stathakis and her group after those receipts are provided to us.

Previous coverage for "Show Me the Money: New Smyrna Beach"

Segment 1: New Smyrna Beach taxpayer money benefiting Mayor Adam Barringer's new restaurant/bar in Maitland
Blog: "Show Me the Money" drawing big audience
Blog: Deceptions and realities not so difficult to see
Segment 2: New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer opens his restaurant in Maitland ahead of schedule
Blog: Need to help poor in New Smyrna Beach far more real than glitz of artificial Christmas tree on Canal Street

Segment 3: New Year's party on Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach draws 2,000; fireworks less than 6 minutes
Blog: Drinking your tax dollars away in NSB while jobs lost
Segment 4: NSB police spokesman on New Year's eve public drinking: 'If they see a violation they take action'
Segment 5: County seizes control of SEV Ad Authority finances; CRA concerns to be aired in New Smyrna Beach
Segment 6: SVAA Director Nicole Carni suspended from post in New Smyrna Beach
Segment 7: SVAA Director Nicole Carni: 'I'm on paid administrative leave and I'm cooperating fully'
Segment 8: Volusia County chair on suspended ad authority director: 'She'll be lucky to stay out of jail'

NSB News is a 24/7 Internet newspaper in New Smyrna Beach accessed through and, launched April 7, 2008, by award-winning breaking news and investigative journalist Henry Frederick and award-winning blogger Peter Mallory. It is the first fully-online newspaper in Florida and among the few in the nation with continuous editorial content picked up by Google News Directories. 

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-Orlando metro area via, launched April 7, 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with scores of regional, state & national journalism-industry awards for nearly 100 breaking news & investigative reporting stories in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut.
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