New Smyrna Beach CRA does business with merchant leader who has $1 million IRS lien
NSBNews.net 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.
NSBNews.net 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 NSBNews.net 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. NSBNews.net 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"
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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper in Lake Mary serving Central Florida via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Frederick was the top winner in the 2012 Florida Press Club contest: 1st place for Blog Writing & 3rd place each for General News Writing, Public Safety Reporting & Best Online Presence (with social media). He's received 18 major journalism awards as a breaking news, investigative reporter & city editor for daily newspapers in Florida, Massachusetts, New York & Connecticut since the mid-1980s.
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