PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) —- Panama City is closing the book on a saga that has plagued the city for nearly a year.
In the 18 years Johnson worked for the city he stole approximately $1 million from The Friends of the After School Assistance Program and nearly $90,000 from the CRA.
He used a lot of the money to buy 11 houses and three cars.
After he pled no-contest in March to grand theft and official misconduct, the judge ordered the assets to go to the city.
Panama City Commissioners voted to use any seized cash to repay the agencies.
They also decided to sell the houses to do the same.
“That was contingent upon them being able to find funding to purchase the homes because the overall intent of selling these homes is to reimburse and make sure that we’re getting all of this funding back to the kids,” Panama City Commissioner Josh Street said.
But before selling the homes, they had to decide how to accommodate the 11 tenants.
Each was given the opportunity to buy the homes.
Only one attempted to buy, but the deal fell through.
In August, the city auctioned off the houses on the Panama City Government website.
“We were able to recoup all the funding that was stolen,” Street said. “Now our goal is to make sure that we can make the program because ultimately these funds should have gone for the last ten years. So these kids that really did need a better quality program.”
Street said the city has created additional checks and balances to prevent the possibility of future embezzlement.
“Things that got put in place disclosing nonprofits that any city employee may sit on the board or have access to a checkbook,” Street said. “There’s a lot of checks and balances to get at it as well.”
Street said all the money Johnson took has been replaced.
The city is scheduled to close on the 11th and the final property next Monday, October 23.