The day after retired Assistant Fire Chief Brian Burkeen was arrested for an alleged black-market tire sales scheme, Indian River County Commissioner Tim Zorc got an anonymous tip. While the community at-large might have been shocked to see Burkeen’s alleged fall from grace, those who worked alongside him knew what their boss was up to, but were too afraid to report him, the informant said.
“There was a very real fear of retribution among the firefighters, so no one turned Burkeen in, though it was pretty widely known what he was doing,” the message states, according to e-mails obtained by Vero Beach 32963. “[The] County might want to institute some sort of anonymous tip line for waste and theft,” it said.
Burkeen, 55, a longtime county official who also briefly served on the Sebastian City Council, was purchasing new tires at Goodyear stores using county funds and then selling them to private buyers he met at work and online, police say.
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