PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Months after former Panama City CRA Director Michael Johnson was arrested for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city, commissioners are making plans for a full review of the city’s budget.
Johnson allegedly stole more than $550,000.
Panama City Police said $470,000 was stolen from the Friends of After School Program. Johnson allegedly stole $85,000 from the Community Redevelopment Agency. On Tuesday commissioners authorized City Manager Mark McQueen to negotiate a contract with a forensic auditing firm.
“We want to make sure that we are very, very thorough and uncover everything that we’re able to uncover,” Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki said. “We want to make sure that there’s a cost-benefit. I don’t want to spend, you know, $1,000 to find $0.10, but I want them to make sure that we go through and that we can satisfy our curiosity, the citizen’s curiosity.”
Brudnicki expects the forensic audit to begin next month. There is no timeline for how long the audit may take to complete. But Brudnicki said city officials are already combing through budgets, searching for missing funds.