Marco Island chiefs being investigated over vaccine reservation system allegations

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Credit: via WINK News.

Two Marco Island chiefs have been placed on leave after accusations of accessing a vaccine reservation system.

Marco Island Police Chief Tracy Frazzano and Marco Island Fire-Rescue Chief Chris Byrne have been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is completed into allegations involving access and use of the Eventbrite vaccine reservation system.

According to Marco Island Assistant to the City Manager Casey Lucius, City Manager Mike McNees will continue the investigation over the next 48 hours before determining if disciplinary action is warranted.

“It’s a shame,” Frank Detmer said. “There are enough problems trying to get the vaccine without having leaders doing whatever it is they may be doing.”

Detmer, a resident on the island, knows how hard people on the island have been trying to get a vaccine appointment.

“If you watch the news, it’s filled with complaints, people trying to get in, trying to get a vaccine,” Detmer said. “I would like to get it myself.”

Detmer says this investigation is not helping people feel confident about getting one.

“Look how aggravated everyone is just trying to get an appointment,” Detmer said. “And then you find out there’s some sort of shenanigans going on behind the scenes with people you supposedly trust.”

The City held a vaccine clinic on Jan. 22 and 29 and used Eventbrite for appointment scheduling. More than 41,000 people tried to access the site to make one of 200 appointments available for the Jan. 29 clinic, causing the site to crash.

We reached out to Fire Chief Byrne about the accusations, and he told us he has no comment at this time. We have not heard back from Police Chief Frazzono after reaching out to her.

Florida Department of Health told us it has no comment on the investigation.

The City said Monday morning that it would not be scheduling a clinic this week “due to issues with the reservation site … Instead we plan to use this time to develop a better functioning system for our residents to be able to make appointments.”

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