Heart of Corruption

        Putting Dixie Mafia Heads on the Plate


                     By: John Caylor

Former Panama City Mayor Jerry Clemmons and his son Scott Clemmons...both refuted associates

of the Dixie Mafia. Scott Clemmons now a candidate for Panama City Mayor was named as a Co-conspirator

in a federal crack cocaine drug distribution case against his close friend Dexter Dickens who was later convicted.


Super Tuesday April 19th 2005, was a day the growing Florida Panhandle community of Panama City rid itself of refuted Dixie Mafia connected politician, Panama City Mayor Jerry Clemmons. Clemmons and his allies in the Old Democratic Party are mad as hell and they want the keys to Panama City back so that can continue the payoffs, the graft and the corruption.

Clemmons over decades made himself and his cronies multimillionaires with direct government grants and rigged bids to water and sewer utility contractors like Phoenix Construction Company, owned by refuted international drug trafficker James Finch. Finch who is a convicted felon was appointed to the Panama City Port Authority by recommendation of Panama City Commissioner John Pilcher and Mayor Gerry Clemmons.


On the brink of death some say that we revisit our life, maybe I've been there one too many times. Each time my memory serves me well and becomes clearer than yesterday morning.


Like that Friday morning January 2, 1953, as a 4 year old I'm sitting there in daddies 1949 Chevy with those soft velour seats at the Piggly Wiggly store in Enterprise while my handsome daddy the policeman, stands on the sidewalk talking with owner Adolph Sawyer.


The car radio is playing "I Saw the Light, When the announcer blurts in again, we continue to honor Hank Williams who departed us New Years Day to meet the Lord. Events come and go in our lives and some you never forget, like that heartless day in 1963, when America lost its soul. 


It was a little over 24 years ago when I first started digging into Gerry Clemons and the Dixie Mafia.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I've uncovered much and here are a choice few tidbits as I make my way into this story:


Developer Fred Webs wife Donna Lynn Webb, an employee of defunct Panama City First Federal Savings and Loan, was convicted of federal bank fraud charges in 1989 after she gave a written statement to the FBI stating that Mayor Clemmons as chairman or the board ordered her to falsify loan documents and lie to federal regulators concerning bogus sales and appraisals at Sunbird Condominiums.


Former Mayor Clemmons

Hardee became Donna Lynn Webb before the end of the trial and wound up with a Sunbird penthouse valued at over $108,000 trying to recant her FBI statement, Sunbird developers Fred Webb, Silvia Harrison and Don Crisp were partners with Clemmons in other corporations. editor John Caylor obtained this FBI Record over 10 years ago and it is the statement of Donna Lynn Hardee Webb, Developer Fred Webb's wife. The written statement to the FBI outlines that Panama City Mayor Clemmons ordered bank records falsified to fool federal bank regulators.

According to trial testimony it appeared First Federal was involved in a money laundering activities by making drug profits clean. According to testimony unit buyers were sometimes bogus people created on paper and actual sales were with a steep developer discount not shown to bank regulators.


As a result of the criminal activities at Sunbird the financial institution Mayor Clemmons chaired, failed and was absorbed by Peoples First Savings, owned by Democratic Party Strongman, Joe Chapman.



Making my way into the ranks and digging my heals into a marijuana smuggling operation centered from Lowe Smith's Panama City Toyota in the summer of 1981 my undercover handler, Treasury agent Bobby Sides, cautioned me that he had obtained information suggesting local politicians and police were connected to illegal drug, alcohol and money laundering activities we were investigating.


Bobby Sides United States Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms investigation was part of a larger on-going one stemming from the bungled FBI financed 1978 Sandy Creek dope sting which resulted in the murders of 2 young women and their partying male companions. 


My daddy the ex-police chief always said I was an inquisitive motor mouth with sixty questions.


 Following a conclusive week of sit downs and mob meetings of minor gangsters and Top bosses like Santo Trafficante over at Lowe Smith’s Foxfire Lounge I was able to supply Bobby with names, descriptions and tag numbers and other hotlines into the operation and these facts were passed along to the newly created Drug Enforcement Agency.


  But Lowe Smith and insiders were getting suspicious of me, setting me up for a takedown. Like a silver-haired fox Lowe confided to me that if his partner Jerry Waburn at the Boating Center ratted on him he was done. I flinched, cracked a smile and he read the body language! Jerry Waburn was already in jail and going to trail in another smuggling operation the group had going down at Overstreet near Wewa, Florida.  Jerry Waburn died in prison and never broke the silence, between his friends Lowe Smith and former County commissioner Tommy Cooley.


I was in too deep to stop my antennas went up over talk of Sandy Creek, something I knew bits and pieces about except one fact stood out, the name "Steinhorst" a whispered name to certain ears and the different one that came over the dealership PA system.


 A brother or close look a like to Sandy Creek lookout and killer Walter Gale Stienhorst. It was my conclusion that if Steinhorst talked, the one in jail, everybody went down.


After getting caught by Lowe going through his business office filing cabinets, writing down telephone numbers of the boys at the Big Pine Key smuggling way station, I was unlucky enough to confirm first hand, Bobby's information about corrupt Panama City police.


He was on the money and it cost him his life in a manner the FBI never determined, although their crime lab had his car for six months.


My name quickly came into their investigation and both the FBI and ATF believed I was next on the list and they started a manhunt for me although they didn’t know I was scared shitless and already on the run from the Dixie Mafia and their long tentacles inside law enforcement.


Lowe immediately called Cliff Flemming to tow and impound my wheels a new 1980 sporty Pontiac Grand Prix. Unable to explain my self to an already suspicious gangster, I damn near panicked when I saw Flemming hook up my car to the back of his wrecker and as I ran into the street, Flemming tried to run me down with his truck.         


It was on this sour note and news of my case agents death from the FBI, I set out to avenge Bobbys death by riding the system of these corrupt and heartless bastards. 


Bobby Sides was my hero, a bearded personable guy with a wife and two young kids, someone you could trust with your darkest secrets.  He befriended me at a time in my life when I was hated, loved, despised and feared by my friends, enemies and peers.


A time in which all eyes we zeroed in on me for the kill.  A time when Bicardi Rum was my only friend, a time of tremendous emotional, mental and physical stress exerted on me daily due to unimagined and unforeseen demands of my employment. 


Bobby and I first met in  December 1980 when I was marketing director for Northside Mall the largest retail outlet in Southeast Alabama located in the City of Dothan, named after a Biblical town.


The owners of Northside were some of the richest people in the Alabama whom I never expected to meet until late one night when co-owner Joe Donofro telephoned me in early summer 1980 and asked that I meet with him and others the next day.


In that fateful Tuesday meeting with architect Donofro and mall owners Chairman Max Weldon a suave dentist, Frank Martin the dumpy looking shoe salesman, Dr. Wise the radiologist who later read x-rays predicting my imminent death and Oilman Julian Turner, a tall lanky 86 year old man in blue jeans and cowboy boots with real cow shit stuck to the bottoms, the only member of the group who I believe never lusted for anything but money.


Old man Turner was the real deal, a no bullshit take her by the horns type guy who chewed tobacco and always propped his shit covered cowboys boots on the boardroom table to make his point by making all of us smell his shit.


   It was there at Northside I reached a turning point in my life a time destined to propel me into full manhood by sheer force of fear and the will to survive.


It was there I found myself in the unwanted position of power all because these guys wanted to quietly settle out and part ways over, due to rifts and deep hatred between them caused by a beautiful blonde headed woman they all shared or jealously lusted after.


I will have to admit her beauty was beyond dreams and I myself became addicted to their perceived addictions and have gone through at least a dozen blondes like her since.


It's true, cops, robbers and gangsters who live on the edge of life all prefer blondes. All of us who have become corrupted share this thing about blondes and Adolf Hitler the granddaddy of all 20th Century gangsters damn near took the world to the edge of extinction over her.


My first stint undercover the following year wasn't actually all voluntary it was part of a deal to stay alive after I was caught in between a drug and alcohol turf war New Orleans gangster Carlos Marcello's people planted a pipe bomb set to go off Halloween night at Cowboys nightclub in Dothan.