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Amy Heavlin's Reckless Proposal: A Recipe for Disaster

At Monday night's city council meeting, the citizens of DeFuniak Springs were left dumbfounded as City Councilwoman Amy Heavlin unveiled her latest proposal: the appointment of Dede Hinote, former deputy county administrator of Walton County, as the new city manager.

While initially dismissed as a jest, it quickly became apparent that Heavlin was dead serious about her outrageous suggestion.

To understand the gravity of this proposal, one must delve into the sordid past of Dede Hinote.

Terminated from her position at the county, Hinote's dismissal stemmed from egregious misuse of taxpayer funds through abusive P-Card practices.

It's worth noting that a P-Card is not a personal credit card—it's a county-issued purchasing card intended solely for official business expenses.

Hinote brazenly admitted to her transgressions, which included linking her personal PayPal account to the county-issued P-Card and making unauthorized purchases, including clothing items from online retailers.

Her excuse?

A laughable claim that she mistook her personal credit card for the county-issued P-Card due to their similar appearance.

But the extent of Hinote's malfeasance didn't end there. She and her cohorts within the county administration were discovered maintaining a comprehensive spreadsheet containing sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and CVV codes of county commissioners.

This egregious breach of trust granted Hinote unrestricted access to make purchases on behalf of commissioners without their knowledge or consent.

Yet, the audacity of Hinote reached new heights when, upon her dismissal, she resorted to baseless accusations against county commissioners, alleging P-Card abuse—a thinly veiled attempt to deflect blame from her own misconduct.

Partnering with the notorious figure Suzanne Harris, Hinote dragged commissioners' names through the mud, prompting an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

Thankfully, the FDLE swiftly debunked these spurious claims, vindicating the commissioners of any wrongdoing.

Now, Amy Heavlin's proposition to appoint such a tarnished individual as city manager is nothing short of ludicrous. DeFuniak Springs, a community already grappling with financial constraints, cannot afford to entrust its leadership to someone with such a dubious track record.

Heavlin's misguided endorsement of Hinote speaks volumes about her judgment and priorities—putting personal agendas ahead of the welfare of the city.

As this saga unfolds, it serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilant and accountable leadership.

DeFuniak Springs deserves better than the reckless whims of Amy Heavlin.

Let this be a wake-up call for citizens to remain vigilant and hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.

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