Okaloosa could sue advertising firms over Bellinger’s thefts

Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 10:35 AM.

The federal government seized the house in Kelly Plantation last August. It is scheduled to be sold this month for about $620,000.

“We are hopeful that the house will be sold and that it will be sold for the highest amount available and the county will be reimbursed for those funds,” Stewart said. “However, if there’s a shortfall between what was paid for the house and what we return on the house … we would look to Lewis for any shortfall.”

Parisot agreed. He noted that the county “ain’t going to get it from Bellinger” and that Lewis Communications bears “primary responsibility.”

Lewis Communications’ attorney, Gus Fontenot of Mobile, could not be reached for comment.

County commissioners also have withheld two payments due Zimmerman — one for $54,000 in July 2012 and the other for $65,000 in September 2012 — until the county completes a final review of invoices.

The county wants to examine allegations made by the state auditor general that Zimmerman billed separately for certain expenses that should have been included in its monthly retainer fee, Stewart said.

“We wanted to review that and see whether an offset was due,” he added.

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