Lynn Haven Mayor Faces Federal Charges In Corruption Case
Lynn Haven’s mayor is facing federal charges along with two other men in a corruption charge. The former city commissioner and a local developer will now also face charges. The men are facing charges of wire fraud and honest services fraud along with conspiracy charges and charges related to the fraud, including lying to the FBI.
It’s the same thing that always happens. Public officials collude with private interests to ensure that bids go the way of a specific party thus subverting the bid process entirely and defrauding all parties who submitted worthless bids to a charade auction. Literally every corruption charge will feature some element of kicking back public funds to a specific party without allowing the process to choose who gets the contract based on value over cost.
In this case, local developer David James Finch was the beneficiary of several contracts. So, Finch pays money to the mayor and other city officials to ensure that the bid goes his way, and the city officials make that happen for him.
Why Is This Bad?
Public corruption of this nature subverts the government’s supposedly “fair” process for selecting private companies to do work for them. Traditionally, each company would say that they could perform some work at a specific cost. The government would then look over the proposal, ensure that the company is capable of performing the work, compare it against other proposals, and the best proposal wins. When the process is corrupted, the bidder hands some money over to the mayor who selects his company and then provides kickbacks to other parties.
On paper, this could look like your average government transaction with a private company. The government has to prove that the local city officials did not select the best bid in accord with government regulations. They then need to prove that money exchanged hands or the parties furthered the conspiracy by taking some action. In fact, it’s only because people get away with it so often that elected officials think it’s business as usual.
Which Part Was Illegal?
It is illegal to conspire to subvert the bidding process. It is illegal to accept money to ensure that a specific bidder is awarded a contract. It is illegal to pay out the proceeds of the contract to someone who facilitated your company receiving the bid. It is illegal to submit false documentation to federal authorities when they request it.
All of these create waste within the system and end up costing taxpayers more money to provide the same services. So preventing this kind of corruption can result in better use of public funds.
Talk to a Florida Federal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been indicted on charges of defrauding the open bid system employed by the federal government, give the Tampa criminal attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm a call to schedule a free consultation and allow us to begin preparing your defense immediately.