Florida Today, November 1st, 2017
On Tuesday, justice was served in the Needelman trial. While credit is due to FDLE and state attorney’s office for the investigation and prosecution, without the tenacity of Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis, none of this would have happened.
Back in early 2012, both the Florida Today and local law enforcement were spoon-fed the same information eventually given to FDLE, but neither did anything with it. At one point I wrote a letter to the editor describing the criminal activity and begging for someone to investigate, and… nothing. The only local media coverage of any of this prior to Needelman’s arrest was by Brevard Times.
It wasn’t until I physically met with FDLE investigators on July 16th, 2012, with information compiled by Scott Ellis and I, that things finally started moving. It’s taken more than five years, but Needelman will finally be punished for his crime.
In all of the media coverage of the trial one fact is repeatedly omitted: the investigation was begun at the behest of two private citizens. Not the newspaper. Not local law enforcement. Just two citizens who refused to look the other way while the largest corruption scandal in the history of Brevard was unfolding.