COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - The board of the non-profit Housing Opportunities Made for Everyone and their attorneys fired back at the Collier County Clerk after they say he made false allegations of criminal misconduct against the program.
"I am personally devastated by this" says John Barlow. He is the former Vice President of real estate for the Housing Opportunities Made for Everyone or HOME.
Jeff Fridkin, an attorney representing Barlow and HOME, says there is no legitimacy for the kind of questions being asked nor in the manner in which they've been presented. He says "it all appears guided and designed to harm people and that is not what government should be about."
This all stems from a consultant report Collier County Clerk Dwight Brock presented to the board of commissioners in January. Brock says for 3 years he's been trying to get invoices from Barlow to prove where some of the grant money for the program was spent.
Brock says "I don't think we have ever questioned that some work had been done. What we're questioning is the bills we can't verify the bills."
Barlow's attorney says Brock threatened to file a complaint to the federal government, but has yet to do so.
"I can assure you unless we clear up the issues pending that we don't have answers to right now that we will in fact make a referral to the inspector generals office to look at it and see if they can make more out of what is there than we can" says Brock.
Fridkin says no lawsuits have been filed or are pending. He says the purpose of Wednesday's press conference was to "change the dialogue to try and stop the harm that has been happening to very good people who were very well motivated and truly did a public service with the public funds meeting the exact purpose that they were suppose to be."
WINK News also looked into the non-profit, and allegations of shoddy work and double billing.