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Pensacola city employees subpoened by federal grand jury

NEW DETAILS: Pensacola City Councilman Brian Spencer contacted WEAR and informed our newsroom that he has not received a subpoena from the federal grand jury.


We learned this week that five Pensacola city employees were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury.

The nature of the case has still not been revealed.
 But many  have made speculations.
Mayor Ashton Hayward says the case might deal with a 2012 investigation when the State Attorney's Office and city auditors looked at the mayors relationship with a bank, the Jerry Pate Company, and a local insurance agency.

No Florida laws were found broken.
Today, Channel 3's Amber Southard spoke with Mayor Hayward's Former Chief Of Staff John Asmar whose expense records were requested in the subpoena.

John Asmar was Mayor Ashton Haywards Chief of Staff in 2011 he held that position for two years.
   
He resigned saying he wanted to devote more time to his law practice
He says his close position to the Mayor Hayward is why his name was brought up in the subpoena.
   
Like Hayward, Asmar  didn't receive a subpoena.
John Asmar  "I don't have any intimate  knowledge of any impropriety done by any staff person."
               
The Grand Jury subpoena asks for documents pertaining to the Main Street Rehabilitation project...

That was awarded to the Jerry Pate Design
Requests for investment bids from 2010 to 2013.
               
Records pertaining to the request of property insurance from February 2012.
Asmar says while he held his position every "I" was dotted and "T" was crossed.

"The city has a very strict purchasing procedure policy they have fine folks that follow to the "T", so by the time  it got to the mayors level it had gone underneath scrutiny and review."
   
Request for travel expense records for Ashton Hayward and John Asmar were also made.
Asmar says he never had an expense account with the city or even a city credit card..
   
And says he only traveled a handful of times.
"There may be two or three times where the city reimbursed me for milage to go to Tallahassee and I do remember one airline ticket to Houston for an economic development project. There is probably very little paperwork on that issue alone."
   
The 5 city employees who received the subpoena will have to show up to the U S  courthouse in Tallahassee on September 3rd.

Two independent sources have told Channel 3 City Council Member Brian Spencer, City of Pensacola former Finance Director and current City Administrator Dick Barker, Director of Public Works Derek Owens, Ed Spears Special Projects Coordinator and the chair of the Community Maritime Park, and Director of Purchasing George Maiberger all received subpoenas.
   
A Jerry Pate employee Steve Dana and city of Pensacola Risk Manager Jim Owens were also named by sources.
   
We reached out to all those named. Ed Spears returned our call confirming he had received a subpoena.