On a tip that a Cape Canaveral top recreation leader may be stealing from
city-run street parties, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department
set up a surveillance camera, which captured footage of the employee skimming
money from the Friday Fest proceeds.
Assistant City Manager Angela Apperson said in December 2010, someone reported
that Robert Lefever, Leisure Services Director, was handling Friday Fest
proceeds by himself, which was a violation of city policy. Apperson warned
Lefever he needed to have a witness present whenever he handled money.
Then again, in June 2011, another recreation worker reported in an email
that her boss, Lefever, had removed money from another Friday Fest event,
which benefited the Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High Project Graduation.
Lefever was once again brought in and counseled, but since there were no
other witnesses or corroborating evidence, Lefever still retained his
position with the city.
However, after receiving an anonymous complaint in October of last year,
administrators with the city asked the Sheriff’s department to step
in to investigate Lefever.
Evidence in the Cameras
After the surveillance camera was installed in Lefever’s office,
footage caught Lefever hiding envelopes stuffed with cash during both
the November and December Friday Fests. When Sheriff’s deputies
stopped Lefever during a traffic stop on December 7 and found an envelope
containing $750.00, Lefever quit his position with the city of Cape Canaveral.
Lefever, 49, pleaded guilty to grand theft last week, and was sentenced
to one year of probation. He has also been ordered to pay the city $2,850
in restitution, $998 in court costs, and will have to attend eight hours
of shoplifting/theft school.
After resigning his position with Cape Canaveral, Lefever attempted to
collect unemployment benefits. Fortunately the city appealed his request
and he was denied benefits. However, he did collect 400.2 hours of accrued
vacation and sick leave from the city, said Apperson.