Century Finally Produces Some Airline Ticket Info, But Won’t Say Who Traveled

March 7, 2019

Century Mayor Henry Hawkins still isn’t providing details about who the town purchased airline tickets for last October, but the town has produced a portion of the records requested nearly two months ago by NorthEscambia.com.

In December, the town council approved payment of $1,751 to Expedia and three airlines on a bill list. As part of a public records request on January 8, NorthEscambia.com asked for the “airline invoices or receipts that have been discussed and¬†appeared on the bill list at recent meetings, along with reservation information for such”.

That request was ignored by the town until this week. As we reported Tuesday, Hawkins told us and council president Ann Brooks that he would provide the receipts, but he would “black them out”. He refused to answer questions about the legal justification for the proposed redactions.

Tuesday afternoon, a town staffer emailed documents to NorthEscambia.com and Brooks.

On each page from Expedia, the name of the traveler was redacted, marked out by hand. No justification for the redactions was provided.

No explanation was given as to why it took nearly two months to produce the documents. Florida’s Sunshine Law dictates that records must be produced in a reasonable time, and the only delay permitted “is the limited reasonable time allowed the custodian to retrieve the record and delete those portions of the record the custodian asserts are exempt.”

The documents included two itineraries and one sheet labeled as a receipt. The “receipt” from Expedia did not indicate the purchaser, but it did show the last four digits of a Visa card used for payment.

Tuesday, the town provided:

  • An Expedia itinerary showing a cost of $560.92 for an American Airlines flight departing October 28 from Los Angeles to Pensacola, and a room with double beds for one adult for two nights at the LaQuinta Inn on Davis Highway in Pensacola. The traveler’s name is redacted.
  • An Expedia itinerary showing a cost of $689.38 for a Delta flight departing October 29 from Los Angeles to Pensacola, a return flight on Frontier Airlines on October 31, and a room with double beds for one adult for one night at the LaQuinta Inn on Davis Highway in Pensacola. The traveler’s name is redacted.
  • An Expedia receipt for $501.40 for a one-way flight from Pensacola to Eugene, Oregon, on October 31. The receipt does not specify the airline, and the traveler’s name is redacted.

The items provided this week by the town total $1,751.70.

The December town bill list showed payments were made for charges incurred in October as follows:

  • American Airlines $501.40
  • Delta¬† $366.90
  • Expedia $668.50
  • Frontier Airlines $214.90

The items total $1,751.70, equal to the itineraries and receipt provided but the payee entries listed differ.

Under the town’s charter, Hawkins is required to seek advance council approval for purchases in excess of $200. The council did not approve the airline ticket purchases.

He has contended that Escambia County Commissioner Steven Barry promised to reimburse the costs with county economic development, but Barry has denied even communicating with Hawkins about travel expenses. During a public council meeting, Hawkins called Barry “a lie”. “

Comments

28 Responses to “Century Finally Produces Some Airline Ticket Info, But Won’t Say Who Traveled”

  1. Jerry on March 8th, 2019 11:17 pm

    LOCK THEM ALL UP! they all need to be investigated and charged . Maybe they will start explaining once they reach century prison. maybe they are anxious to go and have a stay inside

  2. Resident on March 7th, 2019 11:43 pm

    What I get is the Grand Jury politely gave the town a free pass and advice. The BOCC does not have authority to make them comply. Waiting to see if they follow advice and wake up or if not. If they don’t get the audit by their own vote. It will get done by anyway.

  3. BIG JOHN on March 7th, 2019 8:40 pm

    WOW , CENTURY IS GETTING TO BE A REAL SOAP OPERA ! LIKE AS THE WORLD TURNS, OR ALL OF MY TOWN COUNCIL TUNE IN TOMORROW. SAME TIME, SAME PLACE. DO NOT MISS THE NEXT EPISODE. OF ALL OF MY TOWN COUNCIL

  4. MR REALITY on March 7th, 2019 5:12 pm

    Why is the city paying taxes on this purchase? Centruy does business with a company in LOS ANGELES?

  5. MR REALITY on March 7th, 2019 5:09 pm

    Anne, WOW. You get out much? We can compel the MAYOR forget the airlines…UNREAL the thinking in this area…I wonder if it’s lead in the water or what?

  6. tg on March 7th, 2019 4:32 pm

    The secret is they were flying around the USA trying to recruit a BINGO PARLOR.

  7. M in Bratt on March 7th, 2019 2:52 pm

    Let’s see, Hawkins violated the Town Charter in spending law, and at least three Town Council members voted to pay for the tickets that Hawkins had purchased illegally. Now it’s a national security issue of who was on the planes. Please, would the State Attorney’s Office, or the Fl. Attorney General step in and lower the curtain on this on going clown show?

  8. Step on March 7th, 2019 2:22 pm

    Why the secrecy….his drug mule, his family member or his girlfriend. If it was business related no need for blacking out the name.

  9. neighbor from the north on March 7th, 2019 2:05 pm

    Unfortunately most small towns are corrupt like this. It’s hard to find good honest professional people now days. Century and neighboring towns have been failing their citizens for years. It’s always the same ol’ keep the same person in office kind of deal. Friends keeping friends in place for personal gain. It makes me sick.

    What the town needs is someone that can take charge, take what ever utilities they can salvage and recoup some funds for the town. Sell the gas department to another company and focus on water and sewage dept along with locating future companies to take the space of the old lumber mill and helicopter plant. Coordinate with the commissioners about having an independent police department, the revenue would pay for itself and the county can focus on exactly that, the county.

    Century could have a promising future if the right people were in charge. It’s sad to see it failing and the potential is there. Young people have nothing to look forward too and the older generation has been enduring it for far too long.

    Bring in some young new faces and things will change. Just my 2 cents!

  10. Bahahahaha on March 7th, 2019 1:34 pm

    Thank you, Chris. You win the interwebs for the day.

  11. tasha smith on March 7th, 2019 12:25 pm

    I don’t know what the mayor is trying to hide, but I think that he shouldn’t be able to hide anything about where he goes or who flyes with him.If the town is paying for it I would think it would be open to share, unless the mayor is doing dirt and he has a side piece lady friend that he is trying to keep a secret. He shouldn’t have to hide names on a flight ticket if he is doing everything he is supposed to do and traveling with who he is supposed to.there is something very wrong and corrupt about this situation. Who knows what else he is doing that is eligal, and they are more worried about the city council not going by the sunshine law. I think the federal law enforcement needs to come in and investigate. Something needs to happen.

  12. anne1of2 on March 7th, 2019 11:51 am

    Is anyone else getting the feeling the names will match the Mayor’s last name?

  13. wweebbeerr on March 7th, 2019 11:28 am

    links for my comment:

    NORTHESCAMBIA REPORT 3/7/19:
    Grand Jury Finds Gross Mismanagement In Century, $1 Million Lost, Natural Gas Missing, Financial Emergency

    County Commissioners Contact info:
    https://myescambia.com/elected-officials/commissioners
    myescambia.com

  14. wweebbeerr on March 7th, 2019 11:08 am

    Folks,

    Fixing local government(s) is a lenghly process. That first step has already been taken by our Grand Jury recommending the necessary NEXT step right here –

    <>

    Let’s do our job to make sure the second step is taken by our County Commission.

    Call or email ALL FIVE COMMISSIONERS and ask them to impose those measures on the City of Century immediately.

    <>

    TY, DW

  15. Tee-bug on March 7th, 2019 10:20 am

    Ok enough is enough when is something going to be done to stop all this wrongdoing. The town of Century should be on the Jerry Springer show.

  16. Cindy on March 7th, 2019 10:02 am

    Did anyone else notice these were ONE WAY tickets? That brings up a whole bunch of questions. Why purchase one way tickets instead of a round-trip which is MUCH cheaper. And someone went from Pensacola to Oregon without a return flight? This stinks to high-heavens!

  17. chris on March 7th, 2019 9:56 am

    “Sometimes a company thinking of relocating wishes to remain anonymous. ” Agreed. If I owned a business and was considering re-locating it in Century, I wouldn’t go bragging about it either. Might end up in the looney bin.

  18. Rex S on March 7th, 2019 9:47 am

    Sometimes a company thinking of relocating wishes to remain anonymous. It is at least plausible this is the case. If so I hope it will be a great thing for the town of Century. If not there’s a lot of explaining to do. Time will certainly tell!

  19. Niknak50 on March 7th, 2019 9:02 am

    It is crystal clear that mayor Hawkins is arrogant and condescending, not to mention dishonest. An honest man hides nothing, because he has nothing to hide. He continues to play hide and seek with not only the people of Century, but with authorities as well. Pride (arrogance) will be his own undoing.

  20. Oversight on March 7th, 2019 9:01 am

    It is hard to believe that the town council approved this boondoggle expense. Is there a public record of the vote from a council meeting that shows how each member voted?

  21. fred on March 7th, 2019 9:01 am

    The entire issue (besides the lack of necessary approval) is who traveled and for what purpose. Redacting the invoices like this makes the production non-responsive. He is not in compliance with the legal request for records. I thought he wanted accountability in the mayor’s office. I guess he meant someone else to be accountable.

  22. concern citizen on March 7th, 2019 7:57 am

    Why did the Town Council ever agree to pay for these tickets if the Mayor did not get prior approval. the Town Council needs to do their job to. Our town is in one more mess and i dont see much hope for anything good ever happening. the people in Century need to quit fighting among themselves and start standing up for what is right.

  23. V. Luma on March 7th, 2019 7:42 am

    It is still a violation of the public records law since there isn’t full disclosure. Again, we have the corrupt Mayor leading this charge and the State Attorney if afraid to do anything because of the race card being played.

  24. Robinhood on March 7th, 2019 7:38 am

    Henry Hawkins needs to be arrested and thrown in JAIL, Period. He is not above the Law and if that was any of us doing the very same things he has done we would have already been arrested. Make an example out of him

  25. Pay the Taxman on March 7th, 2019 6:38 am

    Somewhere there should be a 1099 form filed with the IRS by the town of Century for
    those individual(s) travel expenses if they exceeded $600.

  26. Matt T on March 7th, 2019 6:38 am

    Well is it coincidental that the 2 flights ( that we know where they are from) are from marijuana legal states? Hummm

  27. Anne on March 7th, 2019 6:27 am

    Wouldn’t the airlines have a passenger manifest that tells who traveled on those flights and which seats they were assigned?

    There may be some policy from the airline about revealing the names but wouldn’t a court order from the Attorney General office require a reveal?

    The refusal of this Mayor to be clear and transparent with those who he is supposed to represent shows a total lack of respect and integrity on his part.
    This whole matter needs to be deeply investigated and all brought to the light of day so the citizens can move forward with the TRUTH.

  28. Gman on March 7th, 2019 5:50 am

    I’m not much of a religious person but I do pray someone steps in and removes these modern day gangsters before anymore damage is done to the town of Century.





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