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PANAMA CITY – Local officials have decided to hire a company to oversee the city’s upcoming forensic audit.

Panama City commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement with Warren Averett CPAs and Consultants to conduct an audit. It will not only make sure that the city’s fiscal and operating systems cannot be manipulated by employees, but will also try to identify illegal spending or stolen funds.

The forensic audit stems from the Oct. 20 arrest of former city community development director Michael Johnson, who was accused of embezzling $470,000 from the Friends of After School Assistance Program, a nonprofit that supports the city’s After School Assistance Program.

“If you don’t fix something, you’re building on a bad foundation,” said Commissioner Josh Street. “We have to do what we have to do to make sure that future team members, future city leaders and future commissions don’t have to go back and right the wrongs of the past.”

Correction of Johnson’s errors.Panama City is donating $455,000 to settle arrested city official Michael Johnson’s overcharges


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