LYNN HAVEN, Fla (WMBB)–Federal prosecutors are closing in and some Lynn Haven city employees and those who did business with the city may be headed to jail. That’s the message Lynn Haven commissioner Judy Tinder delivered during remarks about the need for a forensic audit Tuesday night.
Tinder saying money was misspent following Hurricane Michael and naming names.
Today, some officials and residents are questioning the integrity of the city’s spending.
“I do agree the FBI is here…I agree the IRS is here…and I think a good number of people know all that. But, they’re not here to do a forensic audit…they’re here to snatch up people and put them in jail I assume,” said Judy Tinder, a commissioner for Lynn Haven.
Tinder conducted her own research into the city’s spending. She named Erosion Control Specialists, Green Leaf Lawn Care, and a former City Manager as among those whose dealings with the city were possibly suspect.
Erosion Control Specialists and Green Leaf were both named in the federal subpoenas the city got earlier this year.
After going through only 6 files out of 200 files provided to her by the city, Tinder knew corruption was evident
“We went to the companies that we have written huge checks to in the recent months and just started looking through those files. We looked through time sheets…time sheets where it said everybody worked 11 hour days with no breaks 7 days a week…things like that,” Tinder said.
Janet Walker, a resident of Lynn Haven, is also outraged. She too looked into files detailing the city’s spending–finding multiple errors.
“One month the company will pay too much, they’ll ask us to pay too much of a project total…The next month they ask us to pay too less of a project total. But if you go through ten invoices, it always seems to work out,” said Walker.
Eventually, the commissioners agreed to move forward with a forensic audit.
“Next our acting City Manager will send out RFQ’s or request for quotes to forensic auditors and then they’ll come back before the commission and we’ll select the auditor that we want,” Tinder said.
The audit will first analyze present day data, then move backwards in time until a $100,000 cap is reached.
Then, it will be determined if the audit should extend further into the past.