Mayor Margo Anderson is speaking out following Tuesday’s announcement that former City Manager Mike White and current Community Services Director David Horton were indicted by federal prosecutors.
Prosecutors say White, Horton and three individuals from two companies, Greenleaf Lawn Care and Erosion Control Specialists, used fake invoices and other fraudulent methods to bilk the city and FEMA out of $5 million.
Mayor Margo Anderson was one of several people who were mentioned in the indictment but not charged with a crime. The indictment states that as part of the scheme Erosion Control Specialists did work at private homes and then billed the city for the work. Anderson’s home and her mother’s home are both mentioned in the indictment as places where this work was done.
News 13’s News Director, Tom Lewis, questioned Anderson about this work several weeks ago as part of News 13s ongoing investigation into Lynn Haven corruption. Mayor Anderson would not go on camera at that time but met with Lewis at our station. Anderson said the work was done at an easement that belonged to the city and not at her home. She provided photographs and an easement description from the property appraiser’s office as evidence.
After the indictment was released Tuesday Lewis reached out to Anderson again.
” Do you have any statement regarding the work done on your home and your mother’s home detailed in this indictment?” Lewis wrote in a text message. “Also do you have any explanation as to why you sat in my office and told me that work was done on an easement and not your property?”
Anderson responded, “I told you the truth in your office and also have the photographs and easement description which back up my statements. Nothing has changed.”
Anderson sent another message to Lewis late Tuesday night.
“There was no work done billed to the city on my mother’s property nor mine. I have Google earth photos of the properties before and after the storm,” Anderson wrote. “Neither of us had trees on our property. The same photos we looked at the day I came to your office last summer and you said, ‘this is a non-story.’ The property is a stormwater easement maintained by the city.”
Anderson also made a statement about the issue on her Facebook page:
News 13 has repeatedly invited Anderson to go on camera and talk about the indictment. We once again extend an invitation to her to respond to all of these issues in an on-camera interview.