Bankrupt Robert Lott goes from financial guru & newspaper owner to Rotary bouncer

Robert Lott drinking beer at Rotary fundraiser in New Smyrna / Headline SurferBankrupt Robert Lott speaks with NSB Commissioner Jack Grasty / Headline SurferHeadline 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.

Previous Coverage:

Observer back from ashes of bankruptcy court
Posted Sun, 2012-11-25 11:29
Bankruptcy benefactor Robert Lott campaigns for County Council candidate Jim Hathaway
Posted Wed, 2012-05-16 03:54
New Smyrna Beach's LOOP advertisement used for private gain by former chamber president
Posted Sun, 2012-05-20 22:18
Lotts seek bankruptcy protection from NSB beachside hotel developers who advanced them $46,000 for marketing in now-defunct Observer
Posted Thu, 2012-04-19 03:46
BREAKING NEWS: Robert Lott removed from Edgewater's economic development advisory board
Posted Mon, 2012-02-13 22:38
Things not so golden for Robert Lott
Posted Thu, 2011-09-08 21:37
Observer weekly newspaper long gone from heart of New Smyrna Beach business district; now operating in publisher's Edgewater home
Posted Mon, 2011-06-06 06:45
Observer newspaper's demise on Flagler Avenue means end of the road for Steve Dennis on New Smyrna Beach CRA
Posted Fri, 2011-04-15 09:52
Fallout from Steve Dennis firing and his ties to Robert Lott continues to divide business community
Posted Fri, 2011-01-28 07:06
Steve Dennis remains with CRA through legal loophole
Posted Thu, 2010-12-30 01:19
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.