Jackson County Discusses Dozier School - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Jackson County Discusses Dozier School

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The Jackson County Commission has concerns about the investigation into the former Dozier School for Boys.

In response, the state attorney's office sent a representative to Tuesday's meeting  to calm their fears.

"I hope this doesn't get defined or Jackson county or Marianna don't get defined by this," said Florida Statewide Prosecutor Nick Cox.

He took to the podium during the Jackson County Commission meeting Tuesday morning to address concerns the county has about Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's petition to exhume bodies at the former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

"We do this because if there is a problem, it's our problem and we need to address it," said Cox. "This petition is the effort we're making to answer a lot of the questions and to help several families that have expressed a desire to find their family members and be repatriated with the families."

The Jackson County Commission filed a motion to intervene a little more than a week ago primarily worried about the cost of the exhumation.

"That was my number one concern, as a steward of the taxpayer dollars in Jackson county," said Commissioner Jeremy Branch. 

Cox told the board Tuesday the county would not be responsible for such funding.

We are not seeking nor will we ever ask Jackson County to put money towards this effort," said Cox. "To repeat myself, this is a state issue."

Money is currently being sought through the legislature to help fund the exhumation and medical examination of the bodies.

Meanwhile, the commission is still concerned with family members of those who have loved ones buried at the school.

"He said they were endeavoring of family members of all those involved," said Commissioner Branch. "When I pressed him for some members, he [Nick Cox] said they contacted eight out of at least 50 or more."

Branch says the county is still interested in being a part of this court decision.

Another group on Tuesday voiced their concern they wanted to too, but didn't share the same concerns as the commission. 

"Let's get closure," said Dale Landry with the Northwest Florida region of the NAACP. "This it not to define Jackson County, but to define a period, and an era where there were some things to happen."

The NAACP plans to file a amicus brief on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the motion to intervene by the commission is still pending. The petition by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to exhume bodies is also awaiting a ruling.