When Tiger Woods tees off at the Honda Classic golf tournament in Palm Beach Gardens today, a sign of local political rancor will be flying over his head.
An airplane banner proclaiming "The Sheriff Is a Thief -- PBSOTalk.com" is slated to circle over PGA National, after making appearances at the Palm Beach County courthouse and jail today.
The message comes courtesy of former Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy Mark Dougan, who has been railing against Sheriff Ric Bradshaw on his website, PBSOTalk.com, for about a year now. "I never liked the corruption that went on in the sheriff's office," Dougan says.
On his website, Dougan cites a scandal from 1985, when Bradshaw was a major in the West Palm Beach police department and was punished for allegedly stealing a gun from the evidence room.
"My claim that the sheriff's a thief? There's documentation on it," Dougan says.
PBSOTalk.com also has a section on corruption and waste in the sheriff's office, including $69,000 the office spent buying charcoal barbecue grills in 2009.
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Dougan admits he's not unbiased in his distaste for Bradshaw. Before he left the sheriff's office in 2008, he was slapped with four internal affairs investigations and was put on probation. He says the punishment was retaliation for a dispute he had with a sergeant. (The Pulp requested documentation of these investigations from the sheriff's office today and is awaiting a response.)
Dougan and his supporters chose today to begin flying the banner because, he says, "We're at a crucial point. We have a feeling that there's going to be a new candidate [for sheriff]."
Sheriff's spokesperson Teri Barbera responded: "I have no knowledge of Mark Dougan and what he's doing."
So far, two candidates have filed to run against Bradshaw in this fall's election: Samuel Thompson and Cleamond Lee Walker. Neither has raised a significant amount of money to counter Bradshaw, who has raised more than $72,200.