August 15, 2013 State Attorney Phil Archer Announces Arrest of Former Clerk, State Representative, on Bribery Charges



            Former Brevard Clerk of Courts and State Representative Mitch Needelman was arrested this morning on charges of bribery, bid tampering, and official misconduct, State Attorney Phil Archer and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Director Cindy Sanz announced during a news conference at the Viera headquarters of the Brevard-Seminole State Attorney’s Office. Sanz is the director of the FDLE Office of Executive Investigations in Tallahassee.


            The charges stem from a year-long FDLE probe. Needelman, who was arrested by agents with the Office of Executive Investigations, faces an additional charge of conspiracy to commit bribery.


            State Attorney Archer said his office assisted FDLE throughout the probe by subpoenaing information relative to the case and providing statutory information as requested, a function the office provides for all law enforcement agencies.  


            “This partnership allows professionals to do the job they are trained to do, free from any outside alliances or influences. It benefits both agencies by allowing prosecutors to concentrate their efforts in the courtroom while experienced law enforcement agents investigate and uncover the facts and evidence,” Archer said.


            Archer said he assigned his office’s Economics Crimes attorney, Assistant State Attorney Laura Moody, to the case along with Chief Trial Attorney Bill Respess. Chief of Operations Wayne Holmes assisted FDLE in analyzing material gathered by agents and recommending the appropriate corresponding charges and will be assisting in the prosecution.


            Additionally, a colleague and former business partner of Needelman’s, Matt Dupree, was arrested on charges of being a principal to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery, and principal to bid tampering. There is one warrant still outstanding in the case, Archer said. FDLE will be providing additional details in a later news release.  



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