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Panhandle official faces accusations of kickbacks

Jackson County's roads and bridges overseer received kickbacks from a company for buying department supplies at inflated prices, prosecutors said.

William Edward Morris, 37, faces a charge of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior, a second-degree felony.

He faces as much as 15 years in prison if convicted.

Morris surrendered Thursday and was released pending a Monday court appearance, said Capt. Robbie Wester of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation began after a tip in November that Morris was using public funds to purchase supplies for the Panhandle county from a South Florida company at prices six times the cost of other suppliers.

Authorities determined Morris had received cash from the supply company because of the expensive purchases, the Sheriff's Office said.

Wester said the company was Safety and Health Municipal Supply of Davie. He said it was not known if the company violated any state laws.

No company by that name is listed in the telephone directory and no Internet site for it was found.

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