Judge sets bond at $60K for co-defendant in Palm Bay corruption scandal

Jose Aguiar, former deputy manager David Isnardi charged in racketeering case

A co-defendant in a Palm Bay corruption case was granted bond on Friday.

VIERA, Fla. – Jose Aguiar can soon go free, for now, as soon as he posts bond for $60,000.

Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Mahl set Aguiar's bond at $30,000 for each count.

Aguiar, who briefly ran for Palm Bay City Council in 2016, is charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering in the Palm Bay, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.

Aguiar was arrested May 10, along with former Palm Bay Deputy City Manager Dave Isnardi.

Arrest affidavits describe scenarios in which the two conspired to bribe and/or blackmail city councilmen to vote for zoning changes that would benefit them financially in the future.

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Aguiar's attorney, Daniel Martinez, recently filed a written a not guilty plea for his client and is asking that  "reasonable bond" be set for Aguiar.

In 1997 in Massachusetts, Aguiar was convicted of conspiracy to sell cocaine and was sentenced to three years and one month in federal prison. 

The FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement have been investigating allegations of corruption and undue influence by Jose Aguiar and Dave Isnardi on Palm Bay city officials since at least 2015, according to the arrest affidavits. T

he arrest warrants draw heavily from secret recordings made by a confidential source working with investigators.

Although not arrested or charged, the warrants allege City Councilman Jeff Bailey had an addiction to oxycodone and former Councilman Tres Holton regularly had sex with prostitutes and used cocaine.

The arrest affidavits also allege Holton had obtained prostitutes for Mayor William Capote while the men were in Tallahassee. Capote has denied the allegations, and Holton has declined comment.

Dave Isnardi is charged with two first-degree felonies, which each carry potential penalties of 30 years in prison; and three third-degree felonies, each of which carry a potential five-year prison sentence.

On May 17, Judge Morgan Laur Reinman set bond at $36,000 for Dave Isnardi and he was released from custody several hours later, Florida Today reported.

Isnardi is the husband of Brevard County Commission Chair Kristine Isnardi.

He was initially represented thought the bond procedures by Bryan Lober, an attorney who also is the County Commission vice chair. 

Lober has said he sees no conflict of interest in representing Isnardi, and that he took on the case because he thought he could prioritize the case and get Isnardi bonded out quicker than other attorneys might be able to.