The Greater Pensacola Chamber, Escambia County Clerk of Court Pam Childers and the Escambia County Commission were relieved to report yesterday the missing $80,000 in AMEX cards, that were bought with a BP grant in 2011, have been found in one of the least likely places—under the mayor’s chair in Pensacola Council Chambers at city hall.
“We kept racking our brains trying to think of a place seldom used,” said Childers. “Then it dawned on me—the least used spot in this county is the mayor’s seat at council meetings. And sure enough that shoebox with the cards was right under his chair.”
The Clerk of Court had no explanation for the cards being there. The mayor’s office immediately blamed former Chief of Staff John Asmar. Retired University of West Florida professor C.C. Elebash pointed the finger at Blue Wahoos owner Quint Studer in a viewpoint in the daily newspaper.
The cards are the second mysterious appearance in city hall in the past three weeks. On March 14, City Attorney Jim Messer told the city council at its regular meeting that the lease for the Maritime Y had suddenly appeared on his desk.
“How it got to my office?” said the befuddled attorney. “I can’t help you out with that.”
The Escambia County Commission chairman Gene Valentino said in a press release that he plans to ask the commission to request the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate how the shoebox made its way to city hall.
The Greater Pensacola Chamber told reporters that it plans to use TDC dollars to bring in the guys from the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” to Pensacola and check out if city hall is haunted.
Mayor Ashton Hayward promised to attend more council meetings to avoid more boxes being stored under his chair in council chambers.