Today, Organize Now filed with the assistance of the First Amendment Foundation, a lawsuit that seeks immediate relief for violations of Florida’s open government laws by Orange County.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is at the center of the controversy as the filed suit seeks to answer questions about who has access to the mayor’s Dropbox files, and what are the contents of these files.
“The Mayor has said she would share any and all information related to the Dropbox, yet what little she’s provided so far is rife with deletions and redactions,” said Organize Now director Stephanie Porta.
The press release announcing the lawsuit stated the following:
Over the past two weeks, the Mayor’s staff have erected numerous barriers to requests seeking this basic information. A deeper concern, however, is that in the limited release of records so far, evidence exists that documents were deleted immediately after Comptroller Martha Haynie sent a letter to State Attorney Jeff Ashton and again after public records requests were submitted.
Violations of the “Sunshine Law” are becoming more and more commonplace throughout the state. Local governments both on the municipal and county levels have been embroiled in controversy about violations similar to what has happened in Orange County. The lack of accountability is alarming in many parts of the state. Orange County is different because of the infrastructure progressives have built to serve as Government watchdogs and advocates for good in the community. Similar styled structures must be built throughout the state, particularly in urban counties if we are to ever have the opportunity to return Government to its rightful owner- Florida’s citizens.