DeFuniak Springs city officials subpoenaed to appear before Grand Jury

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DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -- This past summer, the State Attorney's Office began an investigation into the management of DeFuniak Springs, Florida.

The State Attorney's Office called it a "preliminary investigation" after the city failed to properly file financial paperwork two years in a row.

The investigation began when a complaint drew attention of the State Attorney's office into the nearly $220,000 tax dollars the state withheld from the city due to not filing paperwork on time.

After speaking with several council members and former officials, State Attorney Bill Eddins' office has issued subpoenas for many of them to appear before a grand jury this month.

Some of these subpoenas were served during the Dec. 21 city council meeting in DeFuniak Springs.

"I was somewhat surprised because I really felt like, based on the information I had, that there was really no probable cause for any wrongdoing or particularly anything that would be criminal or anything of that nature," DeFuniak Springs' Mayor Bob Campbell said.

The Walton County Sheriff's Office was able to confirm that Mayor Campbell, council members Janie Griffith, Kermit Wright, Ron Kelly, Wayne Graham, and Henry Ennis, along with City Clerk Loretta Laird and City Utility Billing and Finance Supervisor Morgan Hulion, as well as Former City Council Member Mac Carpenter and Former City Manager Sara Bowers were all served to appear.

Campbell confirmed he is meeting the Grand Jury on this matter on Jan. 16.

"I understand a Grand Jury is not because they know somebody is guilty of anything but it's really kinda of a little bit deeper level of investigation. Whatever is good for the city is what I want to happen here and so I'm going to give full cooperation and I'm sure everyone else will," Campbell said.

Gray affiliate WJHG/WECP reached out to Assistant State Attorney Greg Anchors who also confirmed subpoenas for a Grand Jury were issued, but could not specify dates or its purpose to the investigation.

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