TDC members sound off on state subpoenas (VIDEO)

okaloosa tdc kathy houcins chairman warren gourley

Former Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council Chairwoman Kathy Houchins and current Chairman Warren Gourley talk Tuesday about the County Commission asking TDC members to resign in the wake of the Mark Bellinger fraud scandal. Houchins has resigned but Gourley has not.

DEVON RAVINE / Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 11:12 AM.

Okaloosa County Commissioner Wayne Harris has hired a Tallahassee attorney to represent him before the state’s Joint Legislative Auditing Committee next week.

The Auditing Committee voted Monday to subpoena Harris when he didn’t attend a hearing at which he and other commissioners had been asked to appear.

“I was not there (Monday) on the advice of my attorney,” he said.

Harris said he plans to consult with his lawyer, Ronald Meyer, to determine whether he will respond to the committee’s subpoena. He declined to make other comments on the Auditing Committee’s actions.

Several current and former Tourist Development Council members also face subpoenas. None of them attended Monday’s hearing despite being asked to by the Auditing Committee.

The promise of subpoenas didn’t sit well with TDC Chairman Warren Gourley or former TDC chairwoman Kathy Houchins. They told media outlets Tuesday at Seacrest Condominiums on Okaloosa Island that they are being unfairly blamed for the misuse of public money under Mark Bellinger, who led the TDC from May 2010 to May 2012.

Gourley and Houchins said they do not plan to hire attorneys and have no problem going to Tallahassee to testify before the Auditing Committee.

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