SFGN has learned that the newly appointed director of Beach Bear Weekend has a checkered legal past, which includes both civil and criminal issues.
First, SFGN has discovered that Craig Jungwirth, the new director had a permanent injunction and restraining order entered against him by a former employer, for conduct alleged to have been "threatening, erratic and violent,” according to court filings.
Additionally, Jungwirth, who was once arrested for stalking, is presently facing misdemeanor charges in Broward County Court for defrauding an innkeeper. He is fighting those charges vigorously, with counsel. The stalking charge has since been dropped, but court records also reveal that Jungwirth was evicted from his Wilton Manors apartment at 100 N.E. 23rd Street for non-payment of rent.
After being named to the Beach Bear posts, a number of local activists have been posting concerns that the new representative for “Bear Tourism” would be charged with defrauding an innkeeper. But the charges are still pending.
However, in researching the allegations, SFGN learned that separate from that incident, circuit courts from three different states (Florida, Ohio and Massachusetts) have entered restraining orders against Jungwirth for threatening behavior. They include representations that Jungwirth would “bankrupt” his ex-employers, and they would soon be facing “heart attacks.”
Additionally, at least four former colleagues from his job in Massachusetts have filed individual petitions for restraining orders against Jungwirth, expressing fear for their personal safety.
Meanwhile, Beach Bear Weekend is scheduled for May 5-9 in Fort Lauderdale. In the past, the group has petitioned the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau for financial support. Its former director, Bob Young, was a frequent CVB critic, complaining that the county was under a duty to do more than they had done.
However, the LGBT representative to the CVB, Richard Gray, has disputed those claims, insisting that the ‘Bear’ representatives have not comported themselves professionally, imposed unreasonable demands and ultimatums, and “effectively made meaningful discussions unpalatable."
At press time, it was unknown what the implications of the new revelations concerning Beach Bear’s new director will be. A meeting with the CVB is scheduled for February 3, to plan for this year, and put aside past difficulties.
When asked by SFGN to specifically identify his role with the Beach Bear Weekend, Jungwirth refused to answer the question, referring all calls to Andrew Lord, the event’s director of marketing.
When further asked if he wanted to respond to any of the allegations in the lawsuits, Jungwirth again refused to comment, referring all calls to Lord.
When told the story would be appearing with his refusals to comment being published, Jungwirth again gave out Lord's phone number, refusing to answer any of SFGN's inquiries.