LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — The friendship and financial connections between Margo Anderson, the former mayor of Lynn Haven, and James Finch, the owner of Phoenix Construction, are not only well documented but also the subject of a federal bribery case.
Anderson’s husband, Lee, worked for Finch at one point. Finch was the best man at their wedding. When she was mayor she often pointed out that they were old and dear friends before voting in favor of city contracts that went to his company. And, shortly before the indictment, video was given to News 13 and then given to the FBI showing Anderson and Finch traveling together on his private plane during a trip to Biloxi, Miss.
Even after the August 2020 indictment, which also states that Finch gave the Andersons an RV, the pair remained close with Finch announcing that he would pay Anderson’s legal bills and Anderson telling a federal judge that she had no intention of pleading guilty or testifying against Finch in the case.
The prosecution objected to Finch paying the legal fees, however, Judge Mark Walker ruled that there was no impropriety in allowing Finch to pay Anderson’s court costs.
And there is one more connection, according to the Bay County Property Appraiser’s Office. Finch paid $200,000 for Anderson’s home in Lynn Haven.
The records show that the Tennessee Avenue home changed hands from Louis Deal to Margo Deal in 2001 for the sum of $100. It then changed hands among Margo Deal Anderson, Louis Deal and Geraldine Deal in 2007, 2008 and 2017. Each time the purchase paid was $100.
In 2018 the home was sold to The Margo Anderson Family Trust for $100. Then in April of this year the trust sold it to James David Finch for $200,000. The property appraiser states that the market value of the 1,520 square foot home at $144,046.
Finch’s attorney told News 13 Wednesday he had no comment.