Gothard: board, county manager may have violated statutes

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 04:36 PM.

CHIPLEY — County Commissioner Lynn Gothard said that county purchasing policies and state statutes may have been violated when the board voted to buy a generator last month.

The Board of County Commissioners were holding their March meeting Thursday morning when Gothard read a prepared statement in which she alleged that County Manager Steve Joyner violated state laws when he arranged for the county to buy a generator from a fellow county employee — a generator that happened to be stored at Joyner’s residence.

“After the meeting, I received information that the purchase had possibly violated both Florida statutes and county purchasing requirements,” Gothard said. She began researching the information, and agreed that possible violations had occurred and that more information and disclosure was needed.

“On Tuesday, March 4, three days after the February meeting, I both verbally and through e-mail contacted Mr. Joyner asking that the generator not be purchased and the item be put on the March agenda for additional discussion,” Gothard said. “On Thursday, March 14, I received information that an invoice had been received by the finance office with the instructions for it to be paid ASAP. This was three business days before the March workshop where I had requested the item be discussed.”

Gothard contacted Joyner to ask why the generator was not on the agenda for the March workshop, and was told that “a couple of commissioners had told him to go ahead and purchase the item since it had been approved in the February meeting,” she said.

“I was disappointed in the total lack of regard for truthful disclosure and information,” Gothard said.

Gothard said county policy requires purchases of more than $10,000 to receive three quotes or bid proposals, and state statute requires disclosure of any potential conflict of interest.

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