School Board Attorney responds to subpoena controversy

Bay County

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Attorney Franklin Harrison, he found himself answering questions Tuesday afternoon about the federal subpoena recently issued to the Bay District School system. This is a story News 13 broke last Friday.

Assistant US Attorney Stephen Kunz is demanding all documents and communications between the district and GC Contractors, Baldwin Container Company, BCC Waste Solutions, and Gulf Container, LLC.

The requests involve the Tommy Oliver Stadium project and the Bay High STEM Building and Fine Arts Center, and Hurricane Michael clean-up. The subpoena was dated July 20th.

School district officials received it nearly 3-weeks before last Tuesday’s primary election, during which voters decided if Superintendent Bill Husfelt would serve another term.

Some people have suggested the district, and School Board Attorney Harrison, purposely did not disclose the subpoena until after the election, but Harrison claims that’s not the case.

“We don’t reveal public records requests, I mean it came in and we got it I think in my office like the 28th before we saw it. When you get a request like that, that has so many people and so many emails, yes probably, you can blame me for not calling the board members and saying ‘hey you’re on this list too’. But you know we are used to public records requests and were used to dealing with all of that,” said Harrison.

The district’s first acknowledgment of the subpoena came on August 20th, two days after the primary election, by way of an email to those named in the document, requesting they collect named materials. The school district has yet to turn-over the material to the US Attorney’s office.

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