Exclusive: New indictment now expected in Lynn Haven corruption case

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A routine conference call dropped intriguing hints about what is next for the Lynn Haven corruption case. 

In late August the grand conspiracy charge federal prosecutors have alleged against former Mayor Margo Anderson, former city attorney Adam Albritton, former city commissioner Antonious Barnes and James Finch, the owner of Phoenix Construction was thrown out. The conspiracy also allegedly involves five other defendants (including former City Manager Mike White) who have previously pleaded guilty.

Other charges remain in the case but it had been unclear how prosecutors planned to move forward. On Friday, they made it clear that a new indictment was coming along with a new twist. 

“We have had some developments in the case that changes the scope of the superseding indictment that we intend to present. Those developments will materialize in the next couple of days,” said Assistant United States Attorney Andrew J. Grogan. 

Grogan did not explain what those “developments” were. Prosecutors have successfully convinced five other defendants in the case to plead guilty so it is possible that one of the four remaining defendants is now prepared to plead guilty and testify against those who remain. 

Also, in early August, the FBI raided GAC contractors in Panama City in what appeared to be part of this corruption case. So, it could be that evidence from that raid may make its way into a future indictment. 

Finch’s attorney, Guy Lewis, said that his understanding of what is unfolding will, “shorten matters and refine matters in many respects.”

Lewis suggested that he would like to refine the case even more with a conversation with prosecutors on behalf of his client. That is a conversation prosecutors have not yet been willing to have. 

“I look forward to sit down with the government and hopefully, hope spring eternal, educate and enlighten them on what the particulars are of our position,” Lewis said. 

Judge Mark Walker set another tentative trial date for October 26. However, given these developments that case is not expected to go to trial at that time.

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