Florida To Pay $700,000 To End Public Records Dispute

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> on January 23, 2015 in Miramar, Florida.

Published by: CBS Miami

Original: August 7, 2015

Republish : August 8, 2015

TALLAHASSEE (NSF) – A dispute alleging Gov. Rick Scott and his staff subverted public-records laws will cost the state $700,000, according to an agreement released Friday by the governor’s office.

As first reported by the Herald/Times capital bureau, the state will pay the money to Tallahassee attorney Steven Andrews, who until this week had been involved in a legal battle with Scott and the Cabinet about the state’s desire to expand property known as “The Grove” near the governor’s mansion.

The money will come from four agencies — $445,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection, $120,000 from the governor’s office, $75,000 from the attorney general’s office and $60,000 from the Department of State.

In the course of battling about the property near The Grove, Andrews made public-records requests. Ultimately, a California judge ordered Internet giant Google in April to turn over correspondence throughcomputer IP addresses from the Gmail accounts of Scott and two former staff members. Andrews argued that Scott used Gmail to sidestep the state’s public-records laws.

The agreement to pay Andrews in the public-records dispute was signed Wednesday, the same day that Scott and Cabinet members approved a settlement that ended the Grove property battle.

That battle started in 2012 when Scott and state Cabinet members decided they wanted to buy land that included Andrews’ law office as part of an expansion plan for The Grove, which was the formerhome of the late Gov. LeRoy Collins and his family. However, Andrews challenged the state plan, as he had entered a contract in 2011 to buy the land for his office.


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