With less than two months left before the November General Election, old accusations are once again haunting property appraiser Rick Barnett. He says it's just a weak attempt to tear him down.
Barnett's opponent, John Newberry, has revealed documents showing Barnett had tax liens dating back to 1985. Newberry also says Barnett bought a 14-acre piece of land from the St. Joe Company at far below market price.
Rick Barnett says a recent investigation into the accusations by the Panama City Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement came up clean. A summary report by PCPD concluded that Barnett committed no criminal violations.
Newberry says there are just too many questions left unanswered.
"How can a person who doesn't pay taxes be qualified to hold office of Property Tax Appraiser, and where did the money come from the pay off taxes after all those years? Also, why was he accepting a good deal from the St. Joe Co. when he knew they had a lot to gain from decisions he made by his office as Property Appraiser?" says John Newberry, candidate for Property Appraiser.
In a written statement, Rick Barnett said he refused to take the low road in this campaign.