Tourism czar resigns after buying $700,000 yacht with tax money

May 4, 2012 

A Florida tourism czar has resigned after acknowledging he bought a fancy yacht with public tax money.

Okaloosa County’s top tourism official left his job amid public pressure over his $710,000 purchase with hotel tax money, according to a report at

Mark Bellinger told county commissioners he bought the 40-foot yacht to use in a tourism promotional campaign.

The sheriff’s office said that the “unorthodox and secretive nature of the purchase with county bed tax monies” deserves an investigation.

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