COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- The Clerk of Courts hired an independent company to audit a non-profit called "housing opportunities made for everyone" - or HOME. WINK News has learned the head of HOME John Barlow has hired a law firm to refute these allegations.
The law firm representing the non-profit HOME is alleging the Clerk of Courts, Dwight Brock, has a personal vendetta against their client.
Barlow opposed and lost to Brock during the 2012 election for Clerk of Circuit Court.
Brock says "I have no vendetta against Mr. Barlow, he doesn't even live here." He goes on to say, "I think that that is a red herring."
WINK News spoke to Commissioner Fred Coyle. He says "there are allegations that the clerk is using his power to retaliate against certain people, again there has to be proof of that, and I think there are people who are looking at that right now."
However, Brock insists he's just doing his job.
This stems from a WINK News investigation into allegations of shoddy work and double billing by the HOME program. The program bought, remodeled and sold homes in Collier County to low income families using federal and state grant money.
Brock recently did an independent audit. He says it revealed there was more than$75,000, which was income,that should have been turned over to the tax payers. Brock says of that money "there was I think a $644 check that was rendered."
Barlow, of the Naples based non-profit and his lawyers are firing back. They're planning a news conference this week to expose what they say is "the clerk's misuse of his elected office, and taxpayer monies, to achieve political retribution."
Coyle says "I think there needs to be a more detailed search to get those questions answered." He told WINK News the new audit was unusual since one had been done in 2011.
John Barlow would not say anything more than that the information will come out during this week's news conference. He and his lawyers will be there.
You can count on WINK News to be there as well.