ECSO Investigates After Town Of Century Documents Reported Stolen

November 29, 2018

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the reported theft of documents and audio recordings from the Town of Century.

Mayor Henry Hawkins told NorthEcambia.com that the town clerk’s notes and audio recordings from September town council meetings were stolen, along with documents pertaining to a now-satisfied economic development loan made to the town council president years before she took office.

“I have been advised to notify each of you that legal action is being taken,” Hawkins said in a letter emailed Wednesday afternoon to council members, the town attorney and NorthEscambia.com. “I am contacting Sheriff, David Morgan to have him do an investigation due to this being a Federal offence (sic),” the letter concludes.

Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille said that while he had not seen the theft report, the theft of documents or recordings from the town would violate state laws, not federal.

Town Clerk Kim Godwin filed a theft report with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday afternoon, according to Major Andrew Hobbs, spokesperson for the ECSO. He said the investigation is ongoing.

Hawkins said Godwin was about to work on transcribing the minutes for September meeting when she discovered the theft.

“The tape and her notes are gone,” the mayor said. “We have asked staff to come clean and tell us where they are….or someone will do jail time.”

Hawkins said documents relating to a loan to Council President Ann Brooks were taken by someone about a month ago, and they were reported stolen to the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday.

Brooks said earlier this year that she received a $50,000 loan in 1997 and made her final payment in 2011. Brooks was not in office at the time the loan originated. She ran unsuccessfully for a council seat in 2003 and mayor in 2006 before being elected to her current council seat in 2007.

During the last meeting of the Century Town Council on November 19, Brooks warned that someone could go to jail for violating the state’s Sunshine Law requiring the “prompt” production of meeting minutes. She expressed that the council had yet to see minutes from two meetings in September, one in October and one in November [Read more...].

Pictured: Town Clerk Kimberly Godwin takes handwritten notes at the September 3 Century Town Council meeting as Mayor Henry Hawkins speaks. Those notes have now been reported stolen. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Comments

38 Responses to “ECSO Investigates After Town Of Century Documents Reported Stolen”

  1. Solution on November 30th, 2018 12:19 am

    They should contact representive Mike Hill to order the Joint legislative auditing committee to perform a non criminal operational audit like was done for Palm Bay and Defuniak Springs, Florida.

  2. Wondering on November 29th, 2018 9:53 pm

    The latest audit on file on page 43 says the town should consult an attorney about one of the loans. What happened. It said is was against a FL statute. as in against the law. The entire council voted 4 to 0 to do it, except the recipient. Is States ATTN looking into this. This is the old story link and the accountant is being pair for services. The audit is on file at the auditor general web site. A recommendation by Warrant Everitt dated 2018 addresses this. http://www.northescambia.com/2018/07/century-council-member-receives-12000-loan-refinance-from-town

  3. Merry on November 29th, 2018 7:55 pm

    http://www.northescambia.com/2018/11/century-council-president-warns-of-possible-sunshine-law-violations

    So at the last meeting the clerk was “working on them,” (the minutes) but they were stolen between then and now?

    And they know the Brooks loan docs were stolen a month ago, but they never provided the loan document details when requested under a public records request by North Escambia?

    Hmm

  4. Curious on November 29th, 2018 7:50 pm

    Why in the world aren’t the meetings recorded???

  5. chris on November 29th, 2018 5:27 pm

    1. took out a loan.
    2. allegedly paid it off.
    3. records of said payment to Century are “missing.”

    Clean the whole bunch out and start over.

  6. Not a rocket scientist on November 29th, 2018 4:02 pm

    I meant “had” a sign supporting Hudson and the has been paying HIM all along for his services.

    If any of the speculations, are wrong please prove otherwise, if not, the citizens and taxpayers payers in Century have lost confidence in the governance of the municipality.

    We look forward to having the leaders get to the bottom of this.

    Past articles reported Greg Marcille was looking into the things in September. What did he find? Where and what is the report and what will the State of Florida continue to do about this?

    Municipalities are under the State of Florida, not reporting directly to the county, unless said municipality dissolves. I do not see the ones on the council voting to give up their title, small pittance or perhaps hand in the cookie jar nor staff that has a job.

    so Escambia County is not doing anything about it really. How far can elected and paid public servants pass the buck?

    Looks like pretty far.

  7. Not a Rocket Scientist on November 29th, 2018 3:36 pm

    Is filing a false report to law enforcement “a federal offense” (so it wasn’t even spelled correctly and no it was not federal)
    So did he direct the clerk to file this report that the minutes were stolen so that he wouldn’t get it trouble for trying to make some of that stuff from the September meeting disappear?

    So dumb..sounds like dumb and dumber.

    Somehow it seems like the Mayor is trying to cover tracks for the loan for Sandra McMurray Jackson. I think he doesn’t even realizes that that was wrong..evidenced by the other article that he thought it was because he was black.

    I imagine the original loans were from an economic grant from the state. They may not really have been appropriate from the get go. From following stories on here it looks like other grant monies from the state weren’t spent correctly and monitored. It looks like this has been going on for a while, as far as spending money not according to statute and they paid the same attorney all along who was supposed to be taking care of this. The lady running for council was related and the accountant has a sign supporting Hudson in front of her business.

    Just to read the audit and see that special funds are being used for general funds just looks like incompetence all the way around and around and around.

    Talk about shaking my head..

    It’s been going on probably since the 90’s or earlier.

    They probably meant well, so nobody wants nice old Mr. so and so and others to get in trouble.

    Seriously ..this needs to be part of D5.

  8. David on November 29th, 2018 3:05 pm

    That is the minutes where Henry Hawkins had submitted and been paid for mileage and fuel for his personal truck for doing City business. Ann Brooks told him that he could do one or the other but not both makes you wonder, also where Henry paid for food for the Democrat meeting in Century. Same ones that I requested from the Town back in Oct now they are missing. MAYBE ITS TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE AT CITY HALL.

  9. IMHO on November 29th, 2018 2:58 pm

    So you think a CPA wouldn’t have a copy of the records showing she paid the loan off?? Seriously. Seems I remember at her open house how thankful she was the city built it for her, never heard about a loan tho….

  10. How long on November 29th, 2018 2:16 pm

    So if the states attn office was already supposed to be looking into this plus since the FL state auditing and FL joint legislative auditing committees are involved how much longer with this be allowed to continue?

    Looks like it goes further up the chain of incompetence.

    Some are paying attention to Greg Marcielle as well.. Bill Eddins etc

    Why doesn’t he do his job?

    How far do the GOBS go?

    Does it have anything to do with Gulf Breeze and the second signature?

    If people are unwilling or unable to right the wrongs at least start prepping to figure out how to keep the water flowing and the sewer discharging and the trash picked up, and the few businesses opened.

    Who cares if the town government exists?

  11. Citizen on November 29th, 2018 2:03 pm

    oh wait here was what was going on

    http://www.northescambia.com/2018/09/page/21

  12. Citizen on November 29th, 2018 2:00 pm

    also Tropical Storm Gordon cancelled a meeting

    http://www.northescambia.com/2018/09/bocc-declines-state-of-emergencycancelsregular-meeting-century-cancels-workshop

    I hate to be involved with any and all dealings but .. Seriously..

  13. Citizen on November 29th, 2018 1:58 pm

    This article shows they rescheduled it because of Labor day..

    Did they even have the meeting? http://www.northescambia.com/2018/09/monday-century-council-meeting-rescheduled

  14. David Huie Green on November 29th, 2018 12:14 pm

    Just check to see who is trying to fence some hot minutes and recordings of Century town counc meetings on the black market. There shouldn’t be too many suspects.

    Columbo could crack the case in one hour. Fearless Fosdick in…well, never.

  15. Tom on November 29th, 2018 12:12 pm

    What to gain? If others are removed from office then there are higher positions to gain from one beneath them?

  16. Chelleepea on November 29th, 2018 11:39 am

    Looks like everyone is in agreement on this one. Those documents are not worth stealing and does not benefit anyone other than the town clerk who is behind on her work and others who maybe responsible for the documents. I think the sheriff department has better things to do than to take part in this show. God bless and help this town.

  17. D.P. on November 29th, 2018 11:35 am

    Its hard to steal something that was never there!

  18. anne 1of2 on November 29th, 2018 11:34 am

    Who knows where the minutes are kept? Hmm…Century is teaching me how it works in the bigger cities. No wonder everyone wants to work for the government The minutes need to be recorded the night of the meeting, not two months later! Are these people lazy or what?

  19. Curious on November 29th, 2018 11:11 am

    SOLUTION:

    Have all employees working in City Hall, including Hawkins, submit to a polygraph.

  20. just sayin on November 29th, 2018 10:53 am

    Isn’t Godwin the one the mayor wanted to hire by appointment rather than going through the hiring process? We may find out that these two are literally thick as thieves,

  21. Bob on November 29th, 2018 10:20 am

    Corruption and fraud via complacency.

    Two months for meeting minutes and one month to report a thief.

    Someone needs to go to jail.

  22. retired on November 29th, 2018 10:17 am

    Let us just start repaying the 50,000.00 loan from day one. unless they can produce bank documents relating to a loan to Council President Ann Brooks.

  23. outside looking in on November 29th, 2018 10:09 am

    Shay..It sounds like Ms Brooks was the one asking for the mins to be published or the documents to be released. She was the one warning about the laws being violated. From what I read, It doesn’t look like she really would have anything to gain by stealing them….but what do I know, I’m looking in from the outside…and laughing.

  24. A Former Alabama City Clerk on November 29th, 2018 9:57 am

    MINUTES of the Council Meeting….To move forward you MUST have the approval of the Minutes from the prior meeting.How do they proceed with the next meeting without approving the previous meetings Minutes????? How is any action taken on anything that was not approved????
    Thank you Mayor Hawkins for any answers you are willing to share.

  25. big al on November 29th, 2018 9:51 am

    looks like the cameras should be on at the mayors office.

  26. Curious on November 29th, 2018 8:43 am

    1. I’d be willing to bet Councilwoman Brooks has copies of all her loan and loan payoff documents.

    2. Very interesting and convenient that the only tapes and notes missing, are those for the meetings which Town Clerk Godwin hasn’t prepared the minutes.

  27. James on November 29th, 2018 8:11 am

    There has definitely been a crime committed, but it’s by Hawkins and Godwin. Maybe this will spur the investigation needed into the mayor’s shady issues. Had the notes and minutes been properly issued in a timely manner they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be “stolen.” It’s odd it takes over two months to issue minutes to a meeting and then when there is mention of a possible infraction of the law for delayed reporting the notes are mysteriously found to be “stolen” only a couple days later. Red flags everywhere. Shouldn’t take law enforcement long to uncover the truth behind this scandal. And I’ll venture to say these notes may surprisingly appear once law enforcement begins to question Hawkins and Godwin and do a little elementary investigation.

  28. tg on November 29th, 2018 7:23 am

    This is a Fiasco that will never end until Century is dissolved and handed to Escambia County.

  29. w.w. on November 29th, 2018 6:57 am

    Drain the swamp

  30. Lucy on November 29th, 2018 6:52 am

    Oh my LORD I am laughing so hard that my sides hurt.
    What a circus this run by Mayor Henry (Nixon tapes) Hawkins.
    If you can’t explain something or know it’s stuck to the wheel and coming back around then sure enough discover that AMAZED it’s Stolen.
    Could be “in the basement” like that Supervisor of Elections found votes in south Florida during our latest elections.
    Something stinks about the shenanigans going on by the “Representatives” of Century Town Council and there’s not enough sawdust to cover it up.

  31. Oversight on November 29th, 2018 6:40 am

    Transcribing minutes of council meetings should be the first order of business the morning after the meeting and not weeks and months later. This is nothing more than piss poor management by the administration and someone should be terminated for not performing one’s duties.

  32. Willis on November 29th, 2018 6:20 am

    It seems clearer why the last town clerk left.

    But the way this keeps going someone else may be leaving for other reasons.

    To staff at town hall, be careful. They are most assuredly looking for a fall person.

  33. Iminpensacola@yahoo.com on November 29th, 2018 5:33 am

    It wouldn’t take long to narrow down a list of suspects in this caper. A good start would be looking at who had something to gain from this theft. It’s funny how they couldn’t find any of these documents to fulfill a freedom of information request, but the thief knew right where to find all of them. And the clown show continues.

  34. Grand Locust on November 29th, 2018 5:07 am

    A tempest in a teapot. As unorganized and chaotic as it appears to be part of the Century team, it is quite possible these folks lost the documents, I mean keeping a gas meter on your largest commercial account for nearly twenty years and then scratching your head that your gas numbers are skewed does not give the public confidence that Century is not buried in chaos and very poorly defined job descriptions and responsibilities. Get a cloud presence and put digital recordings on the cloud and store docs and recordings immediately. This has become simply stupid.

  35. Trocarman on November 29th, 2018 4:41 am

    Century corruption is rampant.

  36. Thomas Moore on November 29th, 2018 3:24 am

    I agree with you Shay and I also find it odd that the corrupt town of Century was also facing scrutiny regarding not posting their meeting minutes going back a few months and now the notes are missing. I think an easy fix would be to have all of them go to the Sheriffs Office downtown and take a polygraph and I bet the Mayor would be found lying.

  37. Resident on November 29th, 2018 2:22 am

    The dog ate it.

  38. Shay on November 29th, 2018 2:11 am

    Hmmmm how convenient for Brooks and Godwin. We’ll never know now if the loan was in fact paid off or not. Both articles have no monetary value to anyone and are only important really to those two people, north Escambia and the citizens of Century. These people are ridiculous! If you’re gonna steal two documents make sure it looks like a real theft (stolen computers, printers, petty cash, etc. Things a crack head would steal for drugs) and not just someone trying to conceal info. I wonder how this helps the top clown with getting his cameras he’s asked for numerous times. Much to convenient for my taste but I’m not the popo so it is just my opinion.

    The loan documents were stolen a month ago and it is just being reported now to the sheriffs office? Why the delay? Someone should be fired for that alone. Inside job!! Hawkins better be careful because most assuredly someone will go to jail and he isn’t above reproach. Also does it bother anybody else that Hawkins lies or misrepresents the facts to push his agenda? Federal crime but actually a state crime. DOC said they were pulling their inmates. Oops no they didn’t say anything close to that.





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