It has been an eventful week in the world of local Brevard politics. With elections rapidly approaching, many candidates have turned up the heat on their campaigns and are doing all they can to get their names out there. The most notable of these such efforts has been the race for State Representative for District 53 between the incumbent Representative Randy Fine and his challenger, Marcie Adkins.
There have been several allegations coming out of the Fine camp but, interestingly enough, they’re not aimed at Ms. Adkins herself. Instead, her political consultant, Robert Burns, has been pulled into the fray with a number of accusations from Fine.
PALMBAYLIVE.com reached out to Rep. Fine, Ms. Adkins, and Mr. Burns for comment. In addition, we were able to get a statement from Brevard County Executive Committee (BREC) District 4 Chair Susan Hodgers regarding the activity within both campaigns.
As a recap, on Tuesday, June 7th Representative Fine held a press conference in Palm Bay wherein he was accompanied by Daedra Logan. Logan, a Kansas resident, claimed that Robert Burns, sexually assaulted her in 2011 while working together at Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, Colorado as active duty servicemembers in the U.S. Army. Additionally, according to Fine, military documents allegedly provided by Logan, indicate that sexual assault charges stemmed from intercourse with Logan while she was “substantially incapable of communicating unwillingness to engage in the sexual contact.”
Burns has been adamant that both he and Logan were intoxicated at the time and that the sex was consensual. In the end, Burns pled guilty only to adultery, a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and all other charges against him were dropped.
Fine has also alleged, that Burns has six felony convictions for, among other things, domestic violence and child abuse. However, according to Burns, a review of public court records reveals that any such charges were either non-existent or dropped. Over the last year Fine has also accused Burns of being Anti-Semitic, Homophobic, and a RINO (republican in name only).
With such serious allegations being hurled around, PALMBAYLIVE.com thought it was important to allow all parties a chance to comment and rebut.
We communicated with Mr. Burns and all others on Friday, June 10th, so the statements below are the most update on the subject.
Mr. Burns has staunchly defended the fact that he has absolutely no felony convictions. Asserting that “Felonies are public record, even military convictions. Evidence of my alleged six felonies would be easily discoverable. The allegations are unfounded.” Mr. Burns went on to opine that the source of these allegations and the information being “fed” to Fine is his ex-wife.
Burns filed for divorce in 2015, after which a fierce custody battle began that culminated in Burns receiving 50/50 custody of their children and full decision-making authority. He says that ever since then his ex-wife has been trying to “ruin” his reputation in Palm Bay. His ex-wife is still seeking full custody and additional child support. Burns states that he finds it odd that all the same allegations presented by Mr. Fine were used by his ex-wife in their divorce proceedings despite the fact that the divorce court judge disregarded all of them. Additionally, Burns alleges that much of the information, including his military records could have only come from his ex-wife given the time frame that Fine was able to obtain them (Fine apparently obtained the records over a weekend, when no record office would have been open. Additionally, Ms. Logan has stated a few times that she did not have copies).
Furthermore, Burns says that his ex-wife is a far-left Democrat, but she “somehow supports Fine, she even has a vote Fine sign in her front yard. Yet, she does not align with him politically”.
Mr. Burns concluded his statements by saying, “she has been posting these things about me for years, long before Randy Fine. The military records she distributes are 3 pages out of a 100-page document. They are not telling the full story. I have never been convicted of a felony, there was no plea deal and any other criminal charges against me were dismissed”.
In response, Rep. Fine, said via email “Ms. Logan’s extraordinary testimony as well as documents I have shared regarding Robert “The Rapist” Burns’ rape, sodomy, child abuse, and wife-beating speak for themselves; as does Robert “The Rapist” Burns’ having taken two plea deals regarding them after his multiple arrests. It is extraordinary that a former Democrat government official like Ms. Adkins would pick this monster as her chief political advisor.”
In defense of both herself and Mr. Burns, Marcie Adkins said she hired a private attorney to conduct an extensive background check on Burns, which she claims turned up nothing that would cause her to question Burns’ character.
“Such a background check was unnecessary, but when the incumbent made ridiculous accusations, I hired a law firm to investigate. They quickly refuted the allegations. Still Representative Fine and his supporters denied the facts and tried to discredit the firm. [Mr. Burns] has done nothing wrong, that I’m aware of; the accusations of felonies have been disproven. At this point, it’s consistent disrespect.”
Lastly, we spoke to BREC Chair Susan Hodgers, Hodgers said:
“I haven’t sat down and read everything, but I like Robert Burns, I always give people a chance and try to research for myself. Burns and I were even on opposite campaigns a while back and he treated me with respect and was professional. I never had an issue. Conversely, my personal interactions with Randy have not been pleasant. I know him to exaggerate and be untruthful.”
Hodgers likened Fine to the “boy who cried wolf”. Stating that his political tactic for years has been to accuse those who disagree with him politically of being Anti-Semitic. She also noted that he has previously run smear campaigns against State Attorney Phil Archer, Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis, and County Commissioner Curt Smith, often taking “partial truths or leaving information out to bolster” his political standing.
Ms. Hodgers then referenced an incident at the most recent BREC meeting were Rep. Fine showed up unannounced and even after Hodgers, the host of the event, allowed him unscheduled time to speak, he later accused her of “yelling at and talking over Jewish people”. Ms. Hodgers admits she did raise her voice in that moment, but not at “Jewish people”, specifically at a Rabbi who was speaking out of turn.
Lastly, she contested Fine’s allegation that Mr. Burn is not a republican. Ms. Hodgers stated “Burns is a registered Republican since last year, this can easily be confirmed. However, his job is not party specific, Burns works with both Democrats and Republicans.”
In the end, it is unfortunate to see Brevard politics reach this level of discourse. Fortunately, most, if not all, of the allegations against Robert Burns are able to be proven or disproven through a simple examination of the numerous available public records. We can all research and draw our own conclusions regarding Mr. Burns prior to the election, as well as evaluate each candidates’ policies and political actions.