A scathing internet news report about developers eyeing Hancock County has folks in the county talking.
MSNBC.com reported Wednesday that two of the men behind Paradise Bay were key figures in an internet stock deal that federal authorities say cost investors more than $12 million.
As WLOX first reported in May, Paradise Properties developers are pushing for the Clermont Harbor and Laskeshore Communities to incorporate - a move the developers say would help bring their projects to life.
Paradise Properties has an elaborate website showing its vision for development in Hancock County. And the group has already held one public hearing on the incorporation issue.
Back in November, Hancock County Supervisor approved a zoning change for the area which would allow for condo, retail and casino development.
But opponents of incorporation and big developments like Paradise Bay have jumped on the news report linking developers to past investment problems.
Bob Davis, with Coastal Community Watch, is one of those opponents.
"I wasn't totally surprised because I 've always felt the County supervisors were trying to move too fast, trying to get too far too quick and they weren't checking things. And I was afraid that this was going to turn badly. I felt when they open up the flood gates like they've done for unlimited development, people are going to want to come in and take advantage of the situation. I've had this fear all along, and it looks as though my fear was not without some foundation," Davis said.
Paradise Bay's representative in Hancock County declined an on camera interview, but Danny Coates did tell WLOX News, "90 percent of that article was inaccurate."
Richard and Donald Kern, the brothers at the center of the controversy, are partners with Hancock County Businessman Mike Cure. Cure told WLOX News this is, "old news, in the past, and the project will move forward."