Grand Jury Says Bond Issue is Okay

A Bay County grand jury has decided county commissioners did nothing wrong when they awarded a multi-million dollar bond issue to improve the county's water system.

The case stems from a complaint filed by local businessman Paul Sims.

Sims contended that several members of the county commission cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars when they chose Merchant Capital to handle the bond transaction.

An advisory committee had recommended another company over Merchant Capital, but the commission award the bid to the Alabama firm anyway.

Bay County's Clerk of Courts Harold Bazzel was also critical of the decision.

But Tuesday night the grand jury ruled the commissioners' decision to hire Merchant Capital was appropriate and actually saved the taxpayers 2-and-a-half million dollars.