The search for answers after Bay District Schools subpoena comes to light

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 8:50 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -

The federal government has recently been investigating the possibility of public corruption in Bay County.

Last week, the investigation led to the arrest of Lynn Haven Mayor Margo Anderson and the city attorney.

“I said then that this investigation into public corruption would continue. It has continued, it will continue, and it will continue to grow,” said United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, Lawrence Keefe during Wednesday’s press conference.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is also digging into Bay District Schools by issuing a subpoena asking for documents between school administrators and several local companies.

That subpoena was actually dated a month ago but was not made public until late last week when Bay District Schools’ public information officer Sharon Michalik sent an email to those named to provide information.

We asked board members, who are included in the subpoena, what they thought about not being told about this sooner. ”The timing just came the way it is, but it has nothing to do with anybody trying to hold anything back,” said board member Pamm Chapman. While the board’s chairman Steve Moss said, “I think it’s a win/win for the school district. Either we’re 100% validated and the FBI says you’re doing the right thing and if we’re not then throw the book at them FBI.”

On social media, people are sounding off with comments like ”why did all this get put out after Tuesday?” and “Gee! Surprise! After the election no less.”

The district has responded with a statement saying in part, “we received the subpoena in late July but our board attorney requested and was granted an extension due to the voluminous amount of documents requested and the fact that we were intently focused on starting school as safely as possible.”

We have asked for an interview with superintendent Bill Husfelt but were told he would not comment at this time.

WJHG is also making a public records request for all of the information being sought by federal prosecutors so we can also see what they are looking into. We’ll be sure to follow up on this story.

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