NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Citizen watchdog Bob Tolley has filed a new round of ethics complaints with the state against Mayor Adam Barringer for his verbal tirade on a New Smyrna Beach cop who wouldn't let him cut through a barricaded side street before the city's Christmas parade.
To date, Tolley has filed four separate ethics complaints against city officials, beginning with the municipality's "private" retirement party back in November for former City Commissioner Jim Hathaway with up-front costs paid for with a city credit card. The retirement dinner was held at Barringer's beachside wine restaurant, SoNapa Grille.
But it's the treatment of the cop, Ralph Hunnefeld, a combat-tested veteran of the Iraq War, whom the mayor called a "pr-ck" that has Tolley, himself a Vietnam vet, up in arms.
And in a related story, New Smyrna Beach police have come under criticism for a series of traffic-related warnings the mayor has received with some questioning whether he is being given preferential treatment because of his status as the city's top elected official. Prior to becoming mayor in 2009, Barringer received several traffic-related citations, but only warnings since.