LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — The two remaining defendants in the Lynn Haven corruption case are once again blasting prosecutors and asking a federal judge to dismiss the case.

James Finch, the owner of Phoenix Construction, along with former Lynn Haven Mayor Margo Anderson are accused of conspiring to illegally funnel city contracts to Finch’s Phoenix Construction in exchange for gifts and kickbacks.

The city’s former’s attorney, city manager, and head of leisure services have already pleaded guilty in the case. A former city commissioner pleaded guilty in a separate matter but is expected to testify that Finch bribed him.

The latest motion to dismiss focuses on a search warrant that was apparently accidentally unsealed.

The warrant appeared in early August in the federal court document system known as PACER. The warrant gave the justification for the FBI search of GAC Contractors in August of 2021 and accused GAC’s owner, Derwin White, and several other local politicians of criminal conduct connected to the recovery from Hurricane Michael.

Finch’s attorney, Guy Lewis, wrote that this warrant once again shows that prosecutors have willfully ignored Judge Mark Walker’s orders to produce all relevant evidence in the case.

“Despite the pendency of this case, the government claims it has not completed its review of the seized documents,” Lewis wrote. “In other words, the government has been sitting on volumes of relevant discovery for over a year and has neither produced nor offered Defendants access to the material until the media discovered the unsealed pleadings. Rather than owning up to its suppression and attempted cover-up, the government tries to put the toothpaste back in the tube and reseal the warrants and affidavits.”

This failure to produce the material should be enough for Walker to use his authority to drop the case against Finch and Anderson, Lewis added.

After it was unsealed and the subject of news stories by multiple media organizations, prosecutors got the document sealed again.

“Rather than owning up to its suppression and attempted cover-up, the government tries to put the toothpaste back in the tube and reseal the warrants and affidavits,” Lewis wrote.

However, the motion also accuses others of being responsible for the crimes to which Anderson and Finch stand accused. Prosecutors have previously argued that if the conspiracy was a wheel, Finch was the hub if the wheel while others, like Anderson and former City Manager Mike White, were the spokes and the rim.

“The limited and incomplete discovery produced by the government, in this case, demonstrates that Derwin White was the ‘hub’ of the conspiracies surrounding post-hurricane cleanup,” Lewis wrote. “Ashbritt is undoubtedly a ‘spoke’ or ‘rim’ as it agreed to allow White to direct and control the debris disposal in Lynn Haven. And, Chris Forehand, with his connections and control of Tetra Tech, is also a “spoke” or “’rim.’”

White was the co-owner of GAC. He died last year and was never indicted in the case. GAC was also co-owned by Allan Bense, former Speaker of the Florida House. Bense has not been indicted in the case.

Forehand is an engineer who did work for Lynn Haven. He has not been charged with a crime in the case. He is expected to testify for the prosecution at an eventual trial.

Forehand allegedly sold an RV to Finch who then gave it to Anderson. Prosecutors say this was one of several bribes Finch gave to Anderson. But Lewis argues that Forehand and a company called Tetra Tech are integral parts of the conspiracy.

“Forehand was financially benefiting from every aspect of post-hurricane recovery efforts. He was getting kickbacks from claims adjusters after bribing City Manager Michael White,” Lewis wrote. “He was a subcontractor for Tetra Tech after bribing City Manager Michael White. He was also working as the Lynn Haven City Engineer, preparing plans and demolition documents and conducting contract negotiations and permit review.”

Forehand declined to comment.