State Attorney's Office Investigates DeFuniak Springs

DeFuniak Springs, Fla. - The State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit is investigating 'complaints' against the City of DeFuniak Springs for alleged 'financial mismanagement'. Failure to file proper reports with the state has already cost the City thousands of dollars. Prosecutors say this investigation is in the preliminary stages.

DeFuniak Spring's City Attorney filed a report back in June, notifying city commissioners that the city had lost nearly $221,000 in the last two years, by failing to file the required financial documents.

"They are required by law to submit certain audits and reports and, they have to do that for each fiscal year. Well, what we understand is that there were some delays in filing those documents. The State then, sent warnings letters to the City of DeFuniak Springs and that didn't fix the problems," explained Clifton Drake, Assistant State Attorney.

Since the City failed to file the documents on-time, the state withheld revenue the City should have receive. 

"I don't believe there was any, any type of evil intent here or, there's no type of criminal activity going on here. I think there's just been some real sloppy business," said Mayor Bob Campbell, City of DeFuniak Springs.

Prosecutors say they'll be trying to answer three questions: What happened? What caused the delay? And, who is responsible?

"We're totally cooperating. I think that we have probably been neglectful as a full team, not as an individual. Certain people are being blamed for the whole 'mish mash,' but they will get to the bottom of this and I think what it is just a lack of procedure and a lack of policy," said Mayor Campbell.

But, Drake says this isn't the first time DeFuniak Springs has, had these type of issues. He wants to know why history keeps repeating itself.

"I think they should be concerned. Any time you get a city losing out on money they would have other wise been entitled to, that's a big problem. And I'm sure the citizens of DeFuniak Springs would be upset to know, that money was withheld that they would have otherwise had," said Drake.

"This year, we're talking about a $105,000 with a $27 million budget. So, that's not going to make a lot of difference. It is a lot of money, but it's not going to change the way we do business," said Mayor Campbell.

Drake expects the investigation could take several months. Once that investigation is completed, the finding will be made public.

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