Florida Gov. Rick Scott, state Attorney General Pam Bondi, and the Department of State are being sued for failing to release public records. Steven Andrews, an attorney from Tallahassee, filed the suit yesterday.
Andrews, an already staunch critic of Gov. Scott, filed the lawsuit in the heat of a “land dispute” with Scott and his Cabinet. For several months, state officials in Scott’s camp have stonewalled Andrews on receiving documents and records. According to the lawsuit against Scott, his administration tampered with calendars of a top aide, communicated official state business within private accounts, and didn’t release texts of an aide for over a year.
In the suit against Bondi, it is alleged that the her office held onto meeting notes and emails on private accounts.
Andrews said “We finally got tired of them violating the Florida Constitution and not producing public records.”
Scott’s spokesperson, Melissa Sellers, dodged the allegations and said the Scott’s administration complied with the record requests.
“We worked diligently to fulfill all 78 requests and amendments to those requests with thousands of pages of records, many produced at taxpayer expense,” said Sellers.
Gov. Scott is no stranger to being on the defense against litigating parties.
In 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Scott because of the voter suppression laws that Scott attempted to enact prior to the 2012 elections. This was an effort to skew the voting turnout of minorities in the state of Florida so as to try to win the state for the Republicans.
The ACLU filed another lawsuit against Scott because of a bill that he signed that would welfare applicants and state employees to submit to drug screenings. Citing an invasion of privacy, the ACLU filed the suit against Scott’s obvious “violat[ion] [of] the U.S. Constitution’s ban on unlawful searches and seizures.”
Because of his antics, Scott gets himself into another legal that will surely cost Florida taxpayers thousands, if not millions, of dollars to pay for Scott’s legal fees.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.