Five charged in corruption investigation in Lynn Haven after Hurricane Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Lawrence Keefe held a press conference Tuesday afternoon talking about corruption in Lynn Haven.

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Lawrence Keefe held a press conference about corruption Tuesday afternoon. (WJHG/WECP)

The indictments handed out Tuesday allege public officials in Lynn Haven stole government money after Hurricane Michael.

Indicted in this investigation are:
Michael Edward White, former Lynn Haven City Manager
David Wayne Horton, employee of Lynn Haven
David Mitchell White, Erosion Control Specialist Owner (no relation to Michael White)
Joshua Daniel Anderson, Greenleaf Lawn Care Owner
Shannon Delores Rodriguez, employee of Erosion Control Specialist

The indictment alleges $5 million was stolen through fraudulent invoices from Lynn Haven. It says Lynn Haven then submitted these invoices to FEMA, not knowing they were fraudulent. Attorneys say it is unclear if Lynn Haven will be reimbursed the $5 million stolen from it.

It also says the companies cleaned up Lynn Haven city officials' homes after Hurricane Michael and labeled them as public cleaning.

The indictment goes on to allege Michael White and Horton were getting kick-backs during the time after Hurricane Michael from Erosion Control Specialists and Greenleaf.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said this is the first of the indictments regarding this case and believes more will come.

This investigation is not connected with the corruption investigation from Holmes County announced last week.

City officials say they’re looking into contracts with Greenleaf Lawn Care and also looking closer into any invoices with Erosion Control Specialists.

We’ve reached out to both companies but have not heard a response from either.

Mayor Margo Anderson’s property was also listed on an invoice but she says it was incorrectly labeled.

She says the cleanup company cleaned a storm water easement running adjacent to her property.

She says debris and trees from the easement fell onto or near her property after hurricane Michael.

The indictment also mentions properties and residences belonging to some other Lynn Haven Officials being cleaned by ECS.

The invoices were also billed directly to the city of Lynn Haven.

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David White was booked into Bay County Jail. (Bay County Jail)