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Category archives for: Sunshine Law

For Flagler’s NAACP, More Trust Than Fear of Local Police as Body Cams Clip On

| October 28, 2015

Flagler NAACP members were mostly reassured by use-of-force evidence that, according to the Sheriff’s Office, has declined in Palm Coast, thanks in large part to police body cameras.

Police Body Cams: Exemptions From Public-Record Disclosure Belie Intended Transparency

| September 26, 2015

Police body cams were intended to improve accountability and public access to cops’ work. Access exemptions in Florida and many other states are instead countering their intended purpose.

Rick Scott, 1st-Ever Florida Governor Successfully Sued Over Sunshine Law, Settles for $700,000 in Taxpayer Dollars

| August 8, 2015

The suit alleged Gov. Scott and his staff, violated the Sunshine law when they created email accounts to shield their communications from state public records laws and then withheld the documents.

Reporter Kicked Out: When Public Officials Abuse Florida’s Sunshine Law, With Lawmakers’ Blessing

| July 22, 2015

A “health district” run by public officials closes a public meeting under a bogus exemption to the Sunshine law, and gets a blank check to secretly talk about whatever it wishes, though it affects public policy.

Flagler Court Clerk Throws a Switch, and Mass of Criminal and Civil Records Becomes Accessible Online

| June 16, 2015

Flagler County court records, from arrest affidavits to civil, criminal, county and probate court are now all available online, 24 hours a day, in a vast improvement of public record access ordered by the Florida Supreme Court.

Palm Coast Wants Protection From Extortionist Lawsuits Over Public Record Requests

| May 28, 2015

Palm Coast and the Florida League of Cities are seeking a change in law that would protect local governments from opportunistic groups more individuals who sue governments and companies over public record violations.

Florida Senate Calls For Police Policies on Body Cameras, Addressing Privacy and Data

| April 7, 2015

Body cams are worn by deputies at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Jim Manfre instituted the practice when he took office in 2013 and has been an ardent defender of the cameras.

Senate Panel Easily Clears Bill Granting Secrecy to Top College and University Job Applicants

| February 17, 2015

The Senate Higher Education Committee voted 7-2 to approve the measure (SB 182), which would exempt information about applicants for the jobs of president, provost or dean from the state’s open-records laws.

Florida Lawmakers Seek Secrecy For College and University Searches and Vetting of Candidates

| January 11, 2015

Pointing to the possibility of a “chilling effect” if word gets out, a House bill filed Friday would allow information to be kept confidential about people applying to become presidents, provosts or deans of state universities or colleges.

After “Doubling Down on Stupid,” Lakeland Is Forced to Pay $160,000 in Public Record Settlement

| November 24, 2014

A Lakeland resident filed the lawsuit against the city’s Police Department because the department insisted on illegally charging a flat $23.50 fee for routine requests instead of charging per page or for time worked.

Sheriff’s Office, In Echo of 2001 Violation, Keeps Secret the Hospitalization of Murder Suspect at FHF

| October 31, 2014

For two days, a murder suspect was under arrest in Flagler County but not at the jail. The Sheriff’s Office would not disclose his whereabouts–a dungeon-like disappearance that no law allows or protects.

Sanford, Ferguson, Tallahassee: When Cops Act Like Vigilantes

| October 28, 2014

When police from Sanford to Tallahassee protect themselves or FSU football players and sit on information that should be disclosed and vigorously pursued, they invite mistrust and charges of a cover-up.

More Secrecy, Harsher Punishment for Pregnant-Women Beaters, Parasailing Regulations: 32 New Laws Go In Effect

| September 28, 2014

A number of the new Florida laws going in effect Wednesday involve public-records exemptions, including one to allow some university boards to meet in private to discuss donors and research funding.

Appeals Court Orders City Government to Release “Shade” Meeting Transcript

| August 28, 2014

In a highly critical opinion, an appeals court Wednesday ordered the city of St. Pete Beach to release a transcript of a closed-door discussion about the settlement of a lawsuit.

Sheriff’s Deputies Never Wrote an Incident Report After Fatally Shooting Palm Coast Man

| August 22, 2014

Details of the December 2012 fatal shooting of 32-year-old Troy Gordon on Brownstone Lane in Palm Coast, at a time when Don Fleming was still sheriff, emerged in a court case today that revealed how a union could trump sheriff’s policy even in grave shooting incidents.

How Two Council Members, Out of View, Got WNZF to Back-Pedal on Synthetic Marijuana

| September 27, 2012

What was behind what sounded like a retraction on synthetic marijuana by WNZF’s David Ayres on his Free For All Friday show last week? Private discussions between Palm Coast Council member Bill McGuire with Mayor Jon Netts, and a letter Netts wrote Ayres, that the council never discussed openly–even as the council has yet to vote finally on the matter.

Florida House Candidate Bardley Maxwell Wants Government Employees’ Salaries Kept Secret

| July 23, 2012

Florida House candidate Bradley Maxwell wants to state workers’ salaries and benefits kept secret. He also wants personnel files kept sealed from public view. Maxwell is challenging two-term incumbent state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee.

3 Flagler Beach Commissioners Attend Closed-Door County Staff Meeting, Clouding Sunshine

| July 18, 2012

Commissioners Jane Mealy, Kim Carney and Mayor Linda Provencher attended the July 12 county staff meeting on beach renourishment with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, which was closed to the public. Dennis McDonald, a candidate for the county commission, raised issues with the potential sunshine violation.



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