ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — On May 28th, more than 200 guests enjoyed the evening at the Fenn Center in Ft. Pierce as plain meeting rooms were transformed for the night for the wedding reception of Joe and Heather Smith.
But it's this perceived extravagance that's now come under scrutiny.
A former employee with the St. Lucie County's Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department says the Smiths paid 18-hundred dollars for their wedding reception but the county racked up 30-thousand dollars in expenses.
"I don't know what they paid. I just know that for 18-hundred dollars which is what we paid which is a lot of money for us and we rented the center," Joe Smith said.
The Smiths said they looked at a lot of places but wanted to keep their dollars local and decided their reception could be used as a showcase for the Fenn Center.
"They said they were thinking about expanding how many weddings, how many events they have here," Heather Smith said.
A letter sent to county commissioners last Friday said there were things such as chandeliers, candles, goblets, and draperies used that the couple was not charged for.
"We trust the people of St. Lucie County and their employees to take care of us but taking care of us is doing for us what they would do for anyone else," Joe Smith said.
So who is making these allegations? Her name is Carol Strobert; She resigned from her post as an executive assistant in the parks and rec department earlier this month.
When we stopped by her home, it looked like she was getting ready to move out. She accuses her boss, Debra Brisson, the parks director, of misusing taxpayer money.
"At this point, county administrator Faye Outlaw is aware of the allegations. She asked staff in the Office of Management and Budget and the Human Resources Department to investigate the allegation," said county spokesperson Erick Gill.
Our News partners at Scripps Treasure Coast News are also working this story.
"We have asked the county for public records, receipts and other documents related to this case and cross check the math to see if it all adds up," said Alexi Howk of the Scripps Treasure Coast News.
Wednesday will mark four months since Joe and Heather Smith became husband and wife.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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