Ongoing corruption investigation in Bay County continues

Bay County

BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Federal agents are collecting more evidence in their ongoing fraud and corruption investigation in Bay County.

Earlier Thursday, FBI agents and Bay County Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a search of the GAC Contractors’ corporate offices on Highway 231. 

The FBI confirmed they were searching the GAC offices today as part of an ongoing federal investigation, but that’s all they would confirm.

The fed’s investigation started in Lynn Haven shortly after Hurricane Michael.

Since then it has branched out to subpoena other municipalities across the county.

Retracing the Lynn Haven corruption investigation

News 13 broke the first subpoenas sent to The City of Lynn Haven by the feds in April 2019.

After that it wasn’t long before the first five indictments arrived, implicating former City Manager Michael White and another city worker, and 3-local contractors, who have all since pled guilty. 

Panama City, Panama City Beach, Springfield, Bay District Schools, and possibly others have all turned over evidence, either voluntarily or through subpoenas.

Court records show prosecutors looking at two of Bay County’s biggest builders, Phoenix Construction and GAC Contractors Inc. 

The next round of indictments included Phoenix owner James Finch, and three more Lynn Haven officials, then-Mayor Margo Anderson, City Attorney Adam Albritton, former City Commissioner Antonius Barnes.

Prosecutors accuse both GAC and Phoenix of engaging in bid fixing in Lynn Haven.

New information has since been released that says GAC also bribed former commissioner Barnes with a free driveway and hurricane repairs to his home.

Again, GAC is referred to in the indictments as Company “A”, but no one from the company has been formally charged. We reached out to GAC Thursday but have not yet gotten a response. 

Barnes, Finch, Anderson, and Albritton are still expected to go to trial later this year.

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