[UPDATE] Leon Co. Commission Candidate Arrested

By: Eyewitness News, Julie Montanaro Email
By: Eyewitness News, Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 10.19.2011 by Julie Montanaro

Court records show that Bessie Beard entered a no contest plea today to one charge of grand theft.

A sentencing date is set for December 6th.

UPDATED 6.28.2011 6:40pm by Julie Montanaro

"I was very shocked and surprised to hear this news," Akin Akinyemi said. "I do not know Ms. Beard and I do not know her circumstances. I do not take pleasure in other people's demise."

Akin Akinyemi, the incumbent in the Leon County Commission at large seat, says he does not intend to make Beard's arrest an issue in his campaign.

"People are going to spin things the way they want. They're going to say things. Again, I'm going to focus on my record and what I stand for and what I've done," Akinyemi said.

UPDATED 6.28.2011 by Julie Montanaro

Arrest papers indicate that Bessie Beard is accused of stealing money from cash and reserve drawers at the U.S. Post Office where she works.

Arrest papers say a pinhole camera caught her on surveillance video twice, folding money and placing it inside her shirt. It says the amount of money taken is unclear.

When questioned, arrest papers say, Beard admitted to taking money on numerous occassions but added it was for lunch or cab fare and she always paid it back.

Beard admitted to "borrowing" more than 360 dollars, arrest papers say.

An inspector with the US Postal Service first confronted Beard about the missing money and stock shortages at Leon Station. According to arrest papers, Beard broke down in tears several times and told the inspector "her family had been going through some tough times."

Beard had recently filed to run against incumbent at large Leon County Commissioner Akin Akinyemi.

Akinyemi says he does not know the all the circumstances of Beard's arrest and he can only wish her well. He says he intends to run on his record, and not make this an issue in the campaign.

Beard has been ordered to live with her daughter while she is out on bond. We spoke with the daughter today, but she did not have any comment about her mother's arrest.

A more thorough review of Beard's record shows that bad check charges against her back in 1993 were dropped. Court records show Beard plead no contest to a 2001 larceny charge and successfully completed one year on probation.
Tallahassee, FL - A woman looking to run for a seat on the Leon County Commission was arrested.

52-year-old Bessie Beard was arrested on grand theft charges this past Thursday...June 23.

Beard just filed last week to run for Leon County Commission, At-Large, Group 1 seat.

That seat is currently filled by Akin Akinyemi.

Beard was released Friday on 2500 dollar bond.

Records show Beard has arrests from 1993 to 2001...

Those charges included larceny/petty theft, assault, and passing bad checks.

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  • by TJ on Oct 21, 2011 at 05:26 AM
    Not sure why she thinks people will vote for her.
  • by WHATS NEW ! Location: smoke land on Oct 20, 2011 at 03:40 AM
    sounds like business as usual.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 19, 2011 at 08:32 PM
    Based on her charges she should run for a city office. It appears she is qualified.
  • by Peggy Location: Tville on Oct 19, 2011 at 06:14 PM
    Tir: Typical of what? Are you saying that Ms. Beard is typical of aspiring politicians, postal workers, or black people in Tallahassee? Or are you saying that the comments about her are typical? Please elucidate.
  • by all in thefamily Location: tally baby on Oct 19, 2011 at 04:07 PM
    we sure lost a good team player today.
  • by ddd Location: Tally on Oct 19, 2011 at 03:48 PM
    She had a great union Job at the Post Office and and stupid enough to steal? WOW............ I bet $10.00 that she plays the Race Card.
  • by she on Oct 19, 2011 at 03:01 PM
    at anonymous on 28 june ,,,,,,and who was this fool repected by ,,,people like her and you
  • by Real bro on Oct 19, 2011 at 02:50 PM
    Lets give her a drug test.
  • by terry Location: leon on Jun 28, 2011 at 01:43 PM
    she would have fit right in toooo.
  • by Dee Location: Quincy on Jun 28, 2011 at 10:19 AM
    Who in the heck she thought she was going to commision...all this stealing and carrying on...Lord we have got to do better!!!she made someone look like a complete fool, whomever was backing her
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