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Posts tagged as: sunshine law

Charges Against Ex-Elections Supervisor Weeks Reduced to Five, But Warrant Stands

| April 5, 2017

In almost two years of wrangling ex-Elections Supervisor Kim Weeks’s lawyers have reduced the 12 felony counts against her to five, but there appears little room left before either a trial or an out-of-court settlement.

Lawmakers Back Secrecy for Murder Witnesses

| March 9, 2017

Witnesses’ identifying information would remain secret for two years after the date of the incidents, except to prosecutors and police.

Kim Weeks’s Lawyers Seek to End Case Against Ex-Supervisor In Double-Barreled Attack

| February 3, 2017

Lawyers for ex-Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks spent much of today arguing before a judge two motions that would, if successful, end the nearly two-year-old felony case. Weeks is accused of making illegal recordings.

New School Board Chairman Trevor Tucker Calls For, and Gets, Half As Many Meetings

| November 23, 2016

Relying on a faulty analogy with Duval County schools, Flagler County School Board Chairman Trevor Tucker wants the number of meetings cut from four to two per month, but wants these to be meatier than they’ve been. The board gave its guarded approval.

A Rape in Palm Coast, a Shooting in Flagler Beach, Yet Sheriff’s Office Suppresses All But Trickle of Information

| September 7, 2016

In a 24-hour span on Sept. 6, a woman reported twice being raped and a man reported being shot in separate incidents, both ending up at Florida Hospital Flagler, yet the sheriff’s office is suppressing all but a trickle of information on either case.

Florida Continues to Suppress Lethal-Injection Records in Face of Challenge by Death Row Inmates

| August 24, 2016

Lawyers for seven Death Row inmates and the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona in June filed a subpoena seeking years of records related to Florida’s triple-drug lethal injection protocol, including the types of drugs purchased, the strengths and amounts of the drugs, the expiration dates of the drugs and the names of suppliers.

The Mostly Bogus Case Against Kimberle Weeks

| July 8, 2016

Ex-Elections Supervisor Kimberle Weeks was the most combative, distasteful, deceptive and ethically suspect elected official in the county, but she did not break the law with most of the “secret” recordings she made, contrary to the laundry list of felony counts against her.

From DCF to Pam Bondi, Nothing But Contempt for Florida’s Sunshine Law

| June 30, 2016

It’s been decades since Florida had an elected statewide official who paid much more than lip service to open government, and state and local agencies are taking advantage, showing more contempt than respect for the law, argues Florence Snyder.

Victory for Sunshine Law Rather Than Weeks as Judge Tosses 3 of 12 Charges Against Ex-Elections Supervisor

| June 29, 2016

A judge ruled that three of the 12 felony counts against Kimberle Weeks related to a recording that had already been disclosed at a public meeting. Sharing the recording therefore could not illegal after that, even if the recording itself was.

Media and Orlando Go to Court Over City’s Censoring of Massacre’s 911 Calls

| June 23, 2016

The city of Orlando wants the court to help determine how to handle the unreleased portions of 911 emergency communications involving the June 12 massacre at the Pulse nightclub.

Public Agencies That Violate Sunshine Law Must Pay Attorney’s Fees, Supreme Court Rules

| April 14, 2016

Justices rejected arguments that agencies should be shielded from paying plaintiffs’ legal fees if public-records requests are handled in “good faith.”

Kimberle Weeks Makes a Court Appearance In Hearing That Illustrates Extent of Secret Recordings

| March 24, 2016

The hearing addressed various technical motions, but also featured the testimony of an FDLE investigator that delved into the breadth and nature of Weeks’s recordings, which her defense attorney strived to show were not made illegally.

Citing Overreach, Senate Kills Public Record Exemption for Hunters’ Personal Information

| February 18, 2016

Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, welcomed the defeat of the bill, which she labeled “the Ted Nugent Act” because of publicity surrounding a bear hunt last year.

Against Mayor’s Opposition, Palm Coast Council Discovers Public Input at Workshops

| February 16, 2016

For the first time in 17 years the Palm Coast City Council will join other local governments in allowing public participation at council workshops, where most of the decisions are made, not just at “regular” meetings.

Family of Corey Jones, Killed by Cop, Calls For Regulation of Police Body Cameras

| February 3, 2016

A musician, Corey Jones was fatally shot by a plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens officer when his car broke down on Interstate 95 in the early morning after a gig. The officer, who was driving an unmarked van, has since been fired.

In Case Against Kimberle Weeks, Tactical Motions Lead to Likely Turning Point in March

| January 11, 2016

Ex-Elections Supervisor Kim Weeks’s attorney wants three separate trials on 12 felony counts, and to suppress a search warrant–a motion which, if granted, would unravel the case against Weeks.

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.

Ex-Supervisor Kimberle Weeks Billed Taxpayers $12,500 For 3 Lawyers and Misled Media

| August 7, 2015

The bills include $5,000 to defend herself in a state investigation that resulted, after she resigned, in 12 felony counts against her. She charged the bills to taxpayers.

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.

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.

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.

FDLE Looking Into Alleged Secret Taping and Sunshine Violation by Elections Supervisor

| September 29, 2014

It’s the first step to an investigation of Kimberle Weeks, if laws are found to have been broken. It takes place on the heels of withering criticism of Weeks’s methods and questions by the county commission chairman about the integrity of the elections she is supervising.

County Calls Supervisor of Elections Kim Weeks’s Taping of a Conversation “Illegal”

| September 29, 2014

County Administrator Craig Coffey says Weeks’s secret recording of a conversation between the county attorney and a county commissioner on Aug. 25 was illegal, so was its distribution, though nothing in the recording speaks ill of either men in the conversation.

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.

Judge Upholds Blind Trust Law, Allowing Gov. Scott to Shield Assets From Public

| July 28, 2014

Critics say the device contradicts constitutional safeguards requiring Florida voters to be made aware of what a public official owns and how it might affect his or her decisions. Scott, who reported a net worth of $132.7 million as of the end of last year, is believed to be the only official using a blind trust.

Flagler Beach Police Launch Initiatives to Protect Residents and Property, But Public Records Expose Vulnerability

| January 31, 2014

Though the initiatives are very well-meaning, participating residents who want their house watched while they’re away or who live alone and need a daily check-in must fill out detailed applications that reveal a lot of personal information and details about their property. The documents are public records, and may potentially create vulnerabilities for the very residents police are aiming to protect.

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