Money to promote Poinciana Parkway goes to wife of county employee

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Osceola County commissioners are spending nearly $18,000 to help promote the opening of the Poinciana Parkway this spring, but 9 Investigates found out there could be a conflict of interest in the deal.

Residents have been waiting more than 20 years for the 10-mile Poinciana Parkway to be built. The road connects US 17/92 to Cypress Parkway.

Channel 9 learned a county employee and his family may be benefitting from a costly promotion that’s supposed let people know about the road’s opening.

Osceola County’s Public Information Office has a staff of four employees, who are trained to write press releases to let the media and the public know when things are happening in the county, like the opening of Poinciana Parkway.

Commissioners pay them a combined $336,000 a year.

Recently, county commissioners approved a contract with B&B Promotions, of St. Cloud, to do what the information officers are already paid to do.

The county paid B&B Promotions, which specializes in media relations and crisis management, $17,500 to promote Poinciana  Parkway.

The company will do the advertising and all the public relations work for the project, including handling the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will include a 5K race.

B&B Promotions will also coordinate and provide the materials needed for Commissioner Brandon Arrington to praise the success of the project, which is in his district.

The company is owned by Wendi Jeannin, whose husband, John Jeannin, is the assistant director of Osceola County’s Road and Bridge Department.

John Jeannin is listed as co-manager of B&B Promotions, according to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations.

County commissioners did not bid out the contract with the company.

B&B Promotions and county commissioners did not return Channel 9’s calls on the matter.