“A cornerstone of any regulatory program is a robust, but fair, enforcement and compliance program,” Meeker said. “Bob ensured consistent application of the District’s enforcement authority and negotiated settlement agreements totaling more than $10 million during his tenure.”
The tribute comes a week after Meeker launched an investigation into allegations that Brown accepted a $650 hunting bow and a $2,000 generator from a rancher who had sued a neighbor and the district over water use. Brown, who negotiated a settlement, told The Palm Beach Post that he also hunted on land owned by rancher’s neighbor – the other party in the lawsuit – and other land owners who do business with the district.
Brown was featured in an April 8 Palm Beach Post investigative report about his friendship with George Goodbread, an Okeechobee landowner who sold a 94-acre mined out shell pit to the district for $8.1 million just five years after he purchased it for $150,000 to build a housing development. While the deal was in the planning stages Brown headed the district’s Okeechobee office. Brown denied any role in the deal.
The Post’s investigation revealed that Brown hunted on Goodbread’s land, attended parties at his home and owned a parcel of land with Goodbread – a property deal that Brown said Goodbread made without his permission. Goodbread, who died in 2008, named Brown as the personal representative of his estate. Brown promptly turned down the position.