HOLMES BEACH – At the conclusion of a four-month-long investigation by the State of Florida Commission on Ethics, Commissioner Kim Rash is breathing a long-awaited sigh of relief.
Rash was accused of violating a section of the Florida Constitution by his former neighbor, Anastasios “Tosh” Tricas, in early May. Among other things listed in a May 1 complaint filed with Holmes Beach police following a noise complaint at Rash’s Holmes Boulevard residence, Tricas accused Rash of abusing his position as a city commissioner by stating that he did not have to comply with laws and regulations because city departments and staff members “work for him.” A hearing held Sept. 10 in Tallahassee found that there was no probable cause to substantiate the claims made by Tricas, and his complaint against Rash was dismissed.
With the conclusion of the investigation comes a measure of peace for Rash and his family. In speaking with The Sun, Rash said the accusations against him and the following investigation caused a tremendous amount of stress for his family, who supported him throughout the entire process. Unable to discuss the investigation until it officially concluded, Rash said that without the support of his wife, Theresa, and daughter, Melissa, the situation would have been unbearable. Now, he’s just happy to have the hearing and investigation over with and to publicly be cleared of the accusations.
“I’m just happy it’s over,” he said, adding that he can now move forward in his duties as a commissioner with a renewed focus on the residents he represents.
In a written statement, Rash said he wished taxpayer funds could have been put to better use than investigating the claims made by Tricas.
“I believe the unfounded allegations against me by my former neighbor, Tosh Tricas, were the result of retaliation following my family’s decline of the Tricas’ request for a shared pool,” Rash said in the statement. “Electronic and photographic evidence, as well as testimony from direct witnesses, show that allegations submitted by Mr. Tricas to the Florida Commission on Ethics were fabricated. I demonstrated, item by item, with a wealth of documentation that each of Mr. Tricas’ allegations were categorically false. I fully cooperated with this investigation and was 100% confident that there would be a full exoneration of these false and damaging allegations.”
Rash said he feels the issues between himself and his neighbor began when Rash had a pool installed on his side of the duplex lot the two shared until Tricas sold his side of the building in late June. Rash said Tricas and his family wanted to go in on the pool so that it would be shared with the two units. For resale purposes, Rash denied the request, putting the two neighbors at odds. When Tricas sold his side of the duplex, plans were shown on the listing for a courtyard pool that could potentially be installed on his property, however, Holmes Beach building records show that no one applied for permits for that pool.
Tensions between the neighbors came to a head early in the morning of May 1 when officers responded to the Holmes Boulevard property just after 6 a.m. to a noise complaint. Tricas said a stereo left playing in Rash’s living room while that family was out of town was disturbing his neighbors for a few days before calling the Holmes Beach Police Department to report the noise.
Videos from Rash’s security camera system show HBPD officers, joined at one point by a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy, blocking traffic in front of the residence and walking the property while investigating the issue.
Rash sent a friend over to turn off the stereo and was issued a warning by officers, which would have ended the issue, but Tricas gave a five-page written statement to officers outlining other issues between himself and Rash. It was those complaints that made their way to the state ethics board as Tricas escalated the complaint.
Tricas could not be reached for comment.
With the conclusion of the ordeal, Rash said he’s happy to finally be moving forward and putting this issue behind him.
“Throughout this whole ordeal, I have continued to work and advocate for the residents of Holmes Beach. That is why I was elected, and this has continued to be my focus,” Rash said in his statement. “I am glad I finally have the opportunity to speak so that the residents of Holmes Beach finally know the truth. I am grateful for the support that I have received from so many of our Holmes Beach residents.”
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