DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — A Wednesday report in the Northwest Florida Daily News on action taken against Walton County Deputy Administrator Dede Hinote by the Walton County Board of County Commissioners incorrectly stated that she had been suspended pending an investigation into her use of a county credit card.
In fact, a unanimous vote by commissioners Tuesday only suspended the use of the county credit card, by whomever may have access to it, until an expanded investigation is completed. The investigation will be done by the county’s legal office and human resources department.
At Tuesday’s commission meeting, Hinote said that other county personnel have access to the card and that the only improper charge that she made on the card was a $410.80 payment for a personal purchase made through the PayPal online payment system.
Hinote takes the helm:Dede Hinote to lead Walton County during search for permanent County admin
Hinote subsequently paid back the county for the improper charge. At Tuesday’s commission meeting, she said the county credit card is the same color as a personal credit card that she holds, and she simply mistook the county card for her personal card when she made the personal payment through PayPal.
Hinote has been with the county for 28 years, working with the clerk of county courts for eight years before jobs as the county’s administrative services coordinator and in a number of other commission-appointed posts, including assistant interim county administrator in 2012. She has been the deputy county administrator for administration, one of the county’s two deputy administrator posts, since 2013.
A report on the investigation into use of the county credit card should be available in time for the commission’s April 12 meeting, interim county counsel Clay Adkinson said at Tuesday’s meeting.