Escambia County Commissioner District 2 candidate Karen Sindel has filed a report with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office claiming that Mark Clabaugh, who has ties with opponent George Touart, tried to break into her Star Lake home on Wednesday morning.
Sindel says that her husband had just left the house when she heard a jiggling noise from the handle on the French door on the back of house. She looked up and saw a white male of medium height with a camera entering her home. He was wearing khaki shorts, salmon-colored shirt, nautical-themed belt, docksiders, Bluetooth in his ear and dark sunglasses.
“I did something stupid,” Sindel says. “Instead of calling 911, I went after him.” Sindel says she grabbed him and swung him around. She asked who he was. The intruder said his name was Chris and he was there because he thought the house was for sale. Sindel pointed that there was no “For Sale” sign on her property or her neighbors. The intruder refused to provide an ID.
According to Sindel: The intruder tried to question her about whether she actually lived in the house. He hinted that he had connections with Delta Air Lines, the company for which her husband works. He called himself the “anti-Quint Studer” because he actually gets things done. The intruder drove off in a white Surburban. Sindel told us that she got the vehicle’s tag number and was able to find out that it was owned by Shelley Reynolds. When a friend showed her a photograph of Reynolds’ husband, she identified the man, Mark Clabaugh, as the would-be burglar.
Since filing her report, Sindel has gone back to the ECSO and picked Clabaugh out of a photo line-up as the man who attempted to burglar her home. The ECSO deputies are looking for Mr. Clabaugh now. (Update: Clabaugh was arrested and booked at 17:07
and has been released on $5000 bond.)
Clabaugh is a profuse writer to the pnj.com where he has questioned the residency of Sindel.
“….With regard to Ms Sindel and her residency questions. Well, I am not sure what to think about that. She does list the Star Lake address on her official documents as well as her website. Is that up front or honest, well that is a question that each voter would have to answer for themselves. My personal feeling is that she is not being honest which bothers me.” [Re: Karen Sindel District 2 Candidate Website at 4/14/2010 8:00 PM EDT ]
Two weeks ago, George Touart called to tell me about his conversations with Clabaugh regarding the Community Maritime Park. Clabaugh had convinced Touart that the park was being built at only six feet about sea level.
Clabaugh has been an ardent supporter on Touart and has written several posts in support of the former county administrator and claimed a close relationship with him. He has repeatedly invited PNJ readers to meet with Touart:
On April 26, he wrote on PNJ.com:
“I would invite you to meet with George and talk with him. Have breakfast or lunch and find out for yourself what kind of man George is. I clearly understand that if my perception of someone was based upon stories in the PNJ I would dislike a lot of people around town.”
To another commenter:
“Randy, anytime you would like to meet with George and talk about county government and what he stands for please let me know. We could meet for breakfast or lunch sometime and you can ask him all the questions you like. I think that in the end, you will find him a lot like you with regard to spending controls and taxation. ”
And another (Apr. 22):
“Gatorbred, let me know if you wish to meet George prior to the election. You can ask him what ever questions you like and get to know him. I would be happy to meet for breakfast or lunch somewhere… my feeling is the best way to get to know if for yourself. The invatation is open. ”
And another (April 22):
“He was told he could retire, then that was taken from him. What would you do in a like situation? Furthermore, he broke no laws and no policies and there were no ethics charges found. George is a good man for the job. How about meeting him to see for yourself.”
He also claimed a personal relationship with Touart (April 23):
” I talked to George earlier this evening and I can tell you that I am sincere regarding his feelings about this case. He feels bad for Gene and his family and he knows personally the pressure when stories like this keep coming out. George Touart of ALL PEOPLE understands CLEARLY what the PNJ can do with a story. ”
Was a go-between with Touart (April 22):
“Randy you asked me to ask George about ECAT, he said to tell you that he is on record as a supporter of ECAT. He recognizes the importance of ECAT to the community but also to businesses who rely on employees who use public transportation.”
“promise you Escambiamom if I could kick Cody Rawson in the knee myself I would. I would love to put this Catfish Pond to rest. I told George the other day that if anything happened on that land and he won the election he should personally go out there with a shovel himself. ”
“I agree we are on the same team a lot, Randy2331 what are you doing for Breakfast or lunch Monday? I would like for you to meet George Touart and ask him any questions you like. Get to know him, I am convinced the man you will meet is different than your perception. I can assure you that I do not have any hidden agendas. You probably better than most know my position on government. I have asked George questions about the Key and Escambia County as a whole. ”