Bay County native and former head of the Florida Senate W. D. Childers has lost the first appeal of his bribery conviction.
In a 77-page opinion handed down Thursday, the First District Court of Appeals upheld Childers' conviction on bribery and unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior.
His conviction stems from a land purchase involving a soccer complex in Pensacola while Childers was an Escambia County commissioner. That was after he retired from the Florida Senate.
The appeals court also ruled Escambia County is eligible for compensation so it can recover more than $1 million it lost in the deal.
Childers was born and raised in West Bay in Bay County and later moved to Pensacola. He was the dean of the Florida Senate before his retirement.