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Prison officials clamp down on public records

by Dara Kam | June 25th, 2009

State prison officials are refusing to hand over videotapes of guard-on-inmate brutality or even tapes of guards taking mail from prisoners unless they are sued.

For years, Department of Corrections staff gave the tapes to the public, the media and lawyers although officials there now say they never should have.

The clamp-down on public records is chilling, civil rights advocates contend.

The shift comes under the leadership of Gov. Charlie Crist, whose first official action after taking office was to create the “Office of Open Government.”

“This whole thing of Charlie Crist saying there’s transparency in government is just BS, at least as far as the Department of Corrections,” said civil rights lawyer Randall Berg, executive director and founder of the Miami-based Florida Justice Institute.

Read the full story here.

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One Response to “Prison officials clamp down on public records”

  1. Mordy Ki Says:

    HURRICANE SCAM ALERT!!!

    Here’s how it works. You suffer damage to your property. Your insurance company refuses to pay the full amount that it will take to repair your property. Someone recommends a Public Adjuster Claim Service to you. The salesman (who works on commission) states that his company is the best in the business, guarantees that he will get you the additional money that you need to fully repair the damage and will do all of this quickly. All of this is offered for a fee of 20% of the additional money you get when the claim is settled. Out of financial and emotional desperation, you sign their contract. You are now officially scammed.

    Be advised that a Public Adjuster Claim Service is nothing more than a licensed insurance salesman. He has no more influence over your insurance company than you do.

    Before you sign a Public Adjuster Claim Service contract (they are all from the same “boilerplate”), know that this contract can NEVER be cancelled (after the three-day right to rescind has passed), does not have a termination or expiration date, does not specify what will be specifically provided or delivered, lives on until the claim is settled, cannot be terminated for failure to deliver (breach of contract) and the Public Adjuster Claim Service is legally entitled to receive his fee (because of the contract wording) even if he has nothing to do with the settlement. In fact, he doesn’t have to do a thing to collect his full fee!

    In my case, after I signed his contract, it was filed away waiting for someone to settle the claim. It is guaranteed money to the Public Adjuster Claim Service.

    The Public Adjuster Claim Service that I contracted with did nothing for seven months – not even call me. I fired them – I thought. I hired an attorney who settled the case/claim 15 months later. Because of the Public Adjuster Claim Service contract, I was still obligated to pay his $19,000 fee.

    If this sounds like sour grapes, call the State of Florida Consumer Protection Agency (877-693-5236) and ask them to verify my statements and the reputation of the Public Adjuster Claim Service. The only way to stop this cheating scam is to change the law. Better yet, don’t sign a Public Adjuster Claim Service contract.

    Hire an attorney if you need to and don’t let them charge you more than a 20% fee. And a reputable contractor will provide a free quote to repair your damage that can be given to your attorney to forward to your insurance company.

    BEWARE. DON’T HIRE A PUBLIC ADJUSTER CLAIM SERVICE. You will be scammed like me.

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