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Former building inspector pleads not guilty in fraud case

A former building inspector who had lucrative contracts with Lynn Haven and Panama City Beach has pleaded not guilty to fraud and official misconduct charges. 

Mike Gordon, who previously worked in the Holmes County Building Department, was arrested in May by Lynn Haven police. Investigators said Gordon ordered employees to inspect buildings even though they were not qualified to perform the inspections. 

Holmes County terminated Gordon’s employment immediately after his arrest for fraud.

Gordon’s inspections came under scrutiny after he obtained a license in Calhoun County. Former employees in the building department in that county are under investigation for allegedly illegally awarding licenses to contractors in Bay County.

Investigators say the license test is supposed to be proctored and takes seven or eight hours to complete. However, people who got their licenses in Calhoun County allegedly were done in 10 minutes.

After his arrest, both cities terminated their contracts with Gordon. 

Records show Gordon was well paid for his services in Panama City Beach and Lynn Haven. From July of 2019 to this April Lynn Haven paid him $1,076,004.03.

Panama City Beach paid him nearly $1,769,095.02 dating back to 2015.

By comparison, Bay County’s entire in-house building department has a $3.6 million dollar budget this year. It has 21 employees.

The department head makes $95,000 each year.

Here in Holmes County, Gordon’s salary was approximately $25,000 a year for two days a week.

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