Headline Surfer video and photos by Henry Frederick / Former financial planner and ex-owner of the weekly Observer Robert Lott is shown talking with Jack Grasty in the beer garden outside the Brannon Center during Saturday's Rotary fundraiser. At far left, Lott is sucking down a bottle of beer. Lott and his wifwe, Michele, sought and were granted protection from creditors last year in federal bankruptcy court in Orlando having owed more than half a million dollars in debts.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- He was once the kingpin of Flagler: the financial planner, one-time chamber president and owner of the now-defunct weekly Observer newspaper.
That is until Robert Lott landed in bankruptcy court last year, having owed more than half a million bucks to his creditors, including two widows, one of them 82 years old who sued him alleging he defrauded her. So here was Lott, same short-sleeve ratty shirt and worn-out tan pants, taking it upon himself to escort Headline Surfer from the Brannon Center during a fundraiser of the New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater Rotary clubs.
Headline Surfer left without argument, recognizing what was inn play.
This was Lott's moment to shine. His moment of revenge. His pent up resentment. His vengeance realized. Os so he thought. It's just an embarrassing reflection for the organization. Headline Surfer wasn't scoffing food like Lott nor was it drinking beer. That no other Rotary official was involved, which speaks volumes speaks volumes.
Unlike Lott's battle worn clothes and grainy shoes, Headline Surfer was dressed in a suit with polished wing-tip dress shoes. The 24/7 internet newspaper walked through the front door with its press credentials visible and no hesitation from Rotary officials.
Headline Surfer conducted a brief interview with a military serviceman and his family, and took a couple dozen photos, for which participants easily provided their names.
But out of nowhere emerged Robert Lott, beer bottle in one hand and his other hand pressed against Headline Surfer's bach, playing the role of Rotary enforcer or bouncer.
"You've got to go!" Lott demanded, not making eye contact. "You don't have a ticket. It's not fair to anyone else who paid $75."
Asked if he himself paid, Lott didn't respond.
By the looks of what Lott was wearing, it's hard to believe he could afford 75 bucks. Not wanting to create a scene and give Lott any attention, Headline Surfer simply walked with him out the front door.
Eagerly following behind with a camera was Guy Mariande, husband of City Commissioner Judy Reiker, a regular attendee of chicken dinner events with his wife, often at taxpayer expense.
Headline Surfer covers as many charitable community events as possible and is the standard-bearer in Southeast Volusia for such coverage, though political insiders like Lott and Mariande don't like the fact that the only positive publicity comes solely from this media outlet.
Lott, himself had been in the news for his financial and political machinations, none of them positive as demonstrated and detailed in story links at the bottom of this sidebar story.
Headline Surfer videos produced by Serafina Frederick / Audio recordings from federal bankruptcy court in Orlando in 2012 highlight the extent of half million dollars-plus in debts by Robert and Michele Lott, including $110,000 owed collectively to two widows, 82 and 62, respectively.