LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — A local business owner claims the former leaders of Lynn Haven cost taxpayers millions and slowed the recovery process after Hurricane Michael.
Byrd Enterprise and Land Development has filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Lynn Haven, former Mayor Margo Anderson, former City Manager Mike White and former City Attorney Adam Albritton for negligence, fraud, violating the bidding process, and violating Florida’s public records law.
The company accuses the city leaders of conspiring to send Hurricane Michael-related business, including debris removal and the location for debris removal pits to their preferred businesses instead of to Byrd. Byrd contends that they offered their services for less and that their debris removal pits were closer than the pits that were chosen by city officials.
“If the Defendant City had hired Plaintiff … based on its November 16, 2018 bid price of $3.50 per yard, Defendant would have saved taxpayers approximately $1,802,623.14,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit also states that Lynn Haven’s actions significantly slowed down the recovery process. Because the chosen pits were 30 miles away from the impacted zone debris haulers were only completing two of three loads of debris removal a day. Instead, if the closer and cheaper sites had been chosen the haulers could have doubled their productivity to six or eight loads each day.
White has already plead guilty in a federal case connected to his actions after Hurricane Michael.
Prosecutors have charged eight other people in an ongoing corruption case involving government projects in the city. White and four others have already pleaded guilty in the case. Anderson, Albritton, and two others are awaiting trial.