Okaloosa TDC Members Speak About Resignation Requests

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

Last week Okaloosa County commissioners asked for the resignations of TDC members they appointed to the board. The request was in-response to pressure from the local legislative delegation, pushing for answers in last year's scandal when former TDC Director Mark Bellinger stole millions of dollars from the TDC. But some of those council members are refusing to quit.

"I'm planning on preparing a letter and sending it to county commissioners and telling them i don't plan on resigning and that I recommend that they don't accept the resignation of the other three members" said TDC Member Warren Gourley.

TDC member Kathy Houchins says when the Bellinger scandal surfaced the TDC board unfairly received all the attention and the blame.

"When the stuff came out that's when we found out about it. None of us knew any of this and yet we're the only ones asked to resign...isn't that amazing" said TDC Board Member Kathy Houchins.

The main point for members of the tourism development council who were asked to resign want to make clear is that the council has never had any authority of county finances. So when the board of county commissioners asked them to resign they were just as surprised as everyone else. Houchins and Gourley say those who should be held responsible still have a job.

"If there are people who were involved then they should be prosecuted or fired or whatever" said Gourley.

"The only people who did anything wrong were the people who approved the checks to be signed. They're still there so why are we gone" said Houchins.

Houchins says she officially resigned last Thursday.
Gourley still has hope things will change.
The members asked to resign may still be subpoenaed to participate in the investigation.


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