Reports of a possible Federal investigation into a prominent South Carolina businessman may slow the investigation into Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, insiders fear. Concerns over a Federal “turf war” grew stronger this week when news broke that Federal authorities were aware of an inquiry into North American Rescue CEO Bob Castellani. In 2019, the South Carolina-based sold “bleed kits” to the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO). Castellani was a key supporter of Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony’s re-election.
Last month, REDBROWARD was first to report a Federal grand jury in Miami was hearing evidence on matters related to Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony and others in Broward County.
Last week, a story in The Florida Bulldog confirmed a Federal investigation into matters surrounding Sheriff Tony. The website reported the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) was investigating bid rigging allegations involving a contract between BSO and North American Rescue.
The FBI is investigating Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony for suspected bid rigging, fraud and kickbacks stemming from BSO’s 2019 purchase of hundreds of bleeding control stations from a South Carolina company where Tony worked before becoming sheriff.
Three sources interviewed by FBI agents about Tony confirmed to Florida Bulldog the existence of the investigation that began last year. Those sources include an unsuccessful bidder for the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s bleeding control station contract and a former BSO purchasing official.
The Florida Bulldog reported Tony’s company, Blue Spear Solutions sold bleed kits manufactured by North American Rescue since at least 2015. After becoming Sheriff, Gregory Tony was replaced at Blue Spear Solutions by his wife, Holly Tony.
Will Folks of FITSNEWS, an independent South Carolina news website, reported, “federal law enforcement sources in South Carolina confirmed to me this weekend they were ‘aware’ of the Florida inquiry – but declined to say whether they were providing support. They also declined to say whether Castellani or his company were under investigation.”
Folks stated Castellani is well-known player in South Carolina politics:
“Castellani – an intimate of former SCGOP chairwoman Karen Floyd – has been involved in all sorts of questionable campaign finance activity ostensibly on behalf of his business, North American Rescue. He was also one of the most prominent supporters of sheriff Lewis’ victorious 2020 campaign for sheriff – and is said to exert considerable influence over the “conservative” law man.
‘Bob Castellani is the origin point for all this,’ one Upstate source told us.”
Local insiders fear any investigation in South Carolina could put the brakes on the Florida investigation into Sheriff Tony. With news of the investigation no longer secret, they fear any delay puts the public and even BSO deputies at further risk.
They point to a new report regarding a noise complaint in Parkland.
The Sun-Sentinel reported BSO deputies responded to complaints about a noisy party at a Parkland home in late March. When they arrived on the scene, partygoers (some of them law enforcement officers) told deputies that Sheriff Tony was in attendance. After some consternation, deputies left the scene. Sheriff Tony never came out to speak with his deputies.
But BSO and the deputies were put in a negative light when the news went viral. Once again, Tony and BSO were making national headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Insiders fear Tony left deputies “hanging out to dry” because he did not want to be seen on the BSO body cameras.
These rumors and whispers are destroying morale inside BSO. And the public deserves a resolution to this ongoing drama.
An investigation to a chief law enforcement officer should take center stage over any possible investigation of well-connected businessman.