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Scott gets government advice out of the Sunshine

by Dara Kam | December 22nd, 2010

Gov.-elect Rick Scott is meeting for the third and final day with his transition teams to get advice on how to revamp Florida government when he takes office on Jan. 4.

Although Scott set up a website for citizens to give him their suggestions for change, the meetings in downtown Fort Lauderdale are off-limits to the press and the public. One of Scott’s staff even advised transition team members in an e-mail message that they were not allowed to bring anyone with them inside the (public) building.

The Economic Development Team met at 9 a.m. today on the 12th floor of the Florida Atlantic University-Broward College Higher Education Complex.

A reporter was told the meeting was closed to the press, that the 12th floor was a “secure area,” and he was advised to wait in the lobby if he wanted to catch participants coming out of the meeting.

It seems there’s a gray area about whether the meetings are subject to the state’s broad Sunshine Laws requiring most government meetings to be open to the public.

Scott’s staff insists the meetings fall under the “fact-finding” and “information-gathering” exemption in the laws.

But First Amendment Foundation Director Jim Rhea contends that, because Scott is getting specific recommendations for possible legislation or other action, the meetings should be open.

“In my mind, that’s more like your typical advisory entity that would be subject to sunshine as opposed to just gathering facts and saying, ‘Here’s the facts,’ ” Rhea said.

But because there is no case law specifically dealing with state office-holders’ transition team meetings, Rhea said, “in the absence of a lawsuit you end up with a weaker position.”

As far as prohibiting individuals from entering the building, Rhea said: “These are public buildings. Anyone can come into a public building as long as they make it through the metal detectors.”

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33 Responses to “Scott gets government advice out of the Sunshine”

  1. Finanical Attorney Says:

    Well I’d say it’s clear. Rick Scott used a public building and committed a crime. Violated people’s right to a publicly owned building and to government meetings.

    But as Federal Agent’s themselves are working overtime to get criminal indictments against Rick Scott. Scott’s camp is attempting to use a government position to derail federal agents gathering information on him.

    You guy’s got exposed to Rick Scott the Criminal Shielding himself today.

  2. Wondering Says:

    Public building aside: As he hasn’t taken office yet, does the Sunshine law apply to him? I thought it prohibited two or more officials who sit on the same board from discussing secretly a specific item that may come before them for a vote. Not a Rick fan, but are we reaching here? It might set a good example, but as state legislators are exempt, why would he adhere?

  3. CYA Says:

    Here we go. We already knew that he didn’t think the law applied to him, but this is a bad sign. He should be indicted for Medicare fraud.. one of the other companies he is involved with is also being investigated for the same thing. Not a great example.

  4. Finanical Attorney Says:

    @ wondering under FLA Statute 112.312(6). It clearly states that a candidate by oath is subject to all of F.S. 112, Part 3.
    Hence Rick Scott and Emu M., both committed crimes today, as well as everyone in that meeting also committed crimes today by statute definition. The person quoted in the article is completely incorrect. That Meeting was not any exemption by F.S. 112.312 (1), why everyone in the meeting aided in committing the crime today.

    Rick Scott and Emu are criminals using a government elect office in a attempt to shield themselves in criminal active.

  5. Scott is a Crook Says:

    This is just the beginning of the end of Florida.

  6. BM Says:

    Actually, no crimes have been committed here. Access to the building was not denied. Access to the meeting was. The fact finding reports are available and are given to the press in a PDF file. The press has them and they could easily post them for all to read if they choose.

    As far as Sunshine is concerned I suggest there is a good reason why Financial Attorney is a Financial Attorney and not a Constitutional attorney. Read the article again and then you might understand why it does not apply.

  7. Mike Says:

    Sorry, Sunshine Law doesn’t apply. It would be nice if someone would read the law before making baseless statements. Good luck on that.

  8. Consider what your doing! Says:

    You guys at post, temperature around state is seriously stating to boil.

    Many, many across the state are calling for action against Rick Scott right now, including 2 newspaper editors.

    The feds need to hurry on a investigates before we have serious, serious civil unrest. I feel your editors need to place the call to the feds as the state is headed to a violate showed down with whats happening around the state today.

    Rick Scott consider what your about to step into. A national group is contacting people like me ready to arm people when violence breaks out. I dont know for sure the source because I’ve not seen the address ever before. If I had to guess same people as wiki trying to launch already.

    Many people from Orlando on South are arming themselves to dye should you take office.

    These things happening are because of you purchasing a government office. Things are already getting worse for you day by the day. Don’t allow a foreign interest to use your purchase of a US government office to help destroy our country, as they will take this chance to divide floridans, more and more. Those are the doors your opening Rick Scott.

  9. Financial Attorney Says:

    @BM Access to the meeting is the Sunshine Law Violation. That would be called a law being broken.
    We purposely took the building issue out. Rick Scott Staff stated there was a exemption. Since you are such a legal Maverick post the exemption with a citation. Where was that stuff in your reply against F.S. 112.312 (1)?

    @Mike, practice of law? Where was your citation against F.S.112.312 (1)?

    I’m going to chew you and split out.

  10. Financial Attorney Says:

    @also at Mike. I posted a Florida Statute. You pretended as if the statute didn’t apply as if there was more to read. However anyone can read the statute themselves:
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/

    under F.S. 112.312 (1) a advisory board meeting to find facts was held. Hence it subject to the Sunshine Law by F.S. 112.312 (1)

    Baseless? Easy reading!
    PS I’ll take my chances in court on “Baseless” considering your post.

  11. unreal Says:

    @financial atty.
    Not that I am a scott fan but I will take a crack at it. Whether or not there is an exemption the statutue would apply to existing government agents/politicians. The fact that scott has not been sworn in yet would indicate to meet that he does not meet the test of a person subject to the statute. Not to say there are not other people in the room who might, but scott is still a citizen.

    As for the person proposing armed violence. Get a grip. Please state what federal investigators are after scott. And what they are after him for.

  12. Mike Prendergast killed your kid. Says:

    Yo, mike, think your getting a taste of the thousands starting to line up against you.

    Mike this is a time for real persons not p***** as yourself that sent a bunch of kids to die in baseless wars. You ain’t educated for this stuff and your service commands nothing. You get the respect of a cockroach and thats it.

    You of all people using “baseless”.

  13. unreal Says:

    Financial. Atty.
    Had missed your first post that statute applies to candidates. Was reading statutes on phone and hard to read.
    Have a? Though. Considering scott is in a room with many people who are familiar with the sunshine law, and he even hired people to educate him on the law, why would all of them take such a risk if they weren’t confident they were right?. Even if you consider scott to be a crook, not everyone in that room are so cavalier about breaking the law.

  14. Financial Attorney Says:

    @unreal said “The fact that scott has not been sworn in yet would indicate to meet that he does not meet the test of a person subject to the statute.”

    Thank you for helping, my little helper.

    Now I corner you. You based your reply on Scott not being sworn in.

    Trying ready part F.S. 112.312 (6) ““Candidate” means any person who has filed a statement of financial interest and qualification papers, has subscribed to the candidate’s oath as required by s. 99.021, and seeks by election to become a public officer. This definition expressly excludes a committeeman or committeewoman regulated by chapter 103 and persons seeking any other office or position in a political party.”

    Rick Scott filing this document means he’s subjected to the law as a candidate.

    Again anyone can read that at:
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0100-0199/0112/Sections/0112.312.html

    Rick And His Staff, and everyone at the meeting comitted a crime today by defition.

    As a Candide per the Statue 112.312 (6). Everyone at that meeting today engaged in advisory conduct subject to the Sunshine Law.

    You going to accuse me of putting F.S. 112.312 (6) fraudulently into Florida Law next?

  15. Herbie Hancrock Says:

    Crist is our governor, not Scott. He hasn’t been sworn in. This is all a bunch of garbage.

  16. Scott Bashers Says:

    All you tough guys, go make a citizen’s arrest.

  17. Financial Attorney Says:

    @unreal, because Rick Scott is a criminal.

    Criminals role the dice in hopes they can beat the system.

    Fed’s even in campaign were investigating, IRS has gotten involved somehow and rumor in Washington is they have evidence Rick Scott latest company committed tax evasion. Emu is on fed watchlist as well. Reporter in DC feeding the info here is a Lake Worth HS Graduate, he’s following the feds involvement.

    Not just feds, I hear 8 or 9 State Attorneys are looking at taking Scott down as well.

    I understand, no worry’s I want you to be the best informed.

  18. Financial Attorney Says:

    @ Scott Bashers,
    You support someone stealing from taxpayer? Your not to America. Maybe you support killing children as well? He** I’m guessing you don’t mind someone purchasing a government office.

    Looking like you agree with a lot of the same views Hitler had!

    Post your real name, will meet so you can see how tough a guy I am.

  19. unreal Says:

    @financial atty.
    So scott is a crook we all know that. Is everyone else in attendance a crook also? Have a hard time believing some attorneys haven’t already blessed this

  20. Look Around Says:

    The changes have already started. How Scott was able to have the top five levels of the Department of Environmental Protection submit their resignations, to be effective January 3, is a major coup. Saying the agency went from a role of protection to one of supression is an indication that the flood gates of deregulation and environmental disaster are about to open. Most of Scott’s transition team are tied to development. The plan to consolidate unrelated agencies is a clear effort to cause confusion and ineffectiveness in the State’s regulatory areas.

    As far as the federal investigation into Scott’s medicare fraud, the new republican controlled congress will just fail to fund the effort and it will die on the vine.

  21. Financial Attorney Says:

    @unreal No, they relied on Rick Scott staff, not attorney article quoted. Did the people understand they were involved in something so questionable?

    It doesn’t matter.

    If they didn’t, then they should have. I advise many government entities. Unless everyone of these meeting members has a piece of paper from a attorney with Bar # on it, that they can claim they relied on.

    Then as appointments per the statute they all should should of known.

    Example: If I were at the meeting even without some telling me. I’d of known better then to engage in the meeting. I’d not of been able to claim I didn’t understand by engaging in the meeting that I was not in violation of common sense ethics concerns.

    So every person at the meeting supposedly was educated why a “economic meeting”. All should of know better giving there education of what they engaged in. If you didn’t understand that basic concept of open government. Maybe you shouldn’t even be advising in the first place.

    It doesn’t matter whether the meeting members knew or not, unless someone legally allowed to advise them, sent them down the wrong path (in writing). All meeting members should of known by basic knowledge that there engagement in the meeting raised a common sense question of open government with ethics rules.

    It’s that simple!

  22. unreal Says:

    @FINANCIAL ATTY.
    Quite a good start on things if this is true. Wonder if Pammy Blondie will pursue it.
    Either way our state government needs a top down cleaning and I hope he achieves it before they lock him in the WD Childers suite.
    Been dealing with florida state agencies for years. The dep particularly is the most disorganized redundent agency I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with.
    We have too many hands for paperwork to go through so business can operate. I am not a fan.

  23. Fly in the ointment Says:

    Don’t know what the case law says, but by a plain reading of the statutes cited in this thread, Scott and his transition team are NOT in violation of the sunshine law, because he is no longer a candidate. He ceased to be one on the day his victory was certified with the Department of State.

  24. Look Around Says:

    @Fly in the ointment – The title of Governor-Elect is given to the winning candidate in the election. He is still candidate Scott until he takes his oath of office. He remains under the oath taken as a candidate until then. An oath does not expire.

    Still no response as to how candidate Scott was able to remove 400 plus employees from a state agency before his installment as Governor?

  25. Fly in the ointment Says:

    What’s the citation?

  26. Coffee Party Says:

    Hey idiots, just because it’s a public bulding doesn’t grant unlimited public access. When Pelosi and Reid are conspiring to destroy America in the nation’s capital, are you and I allowed to join them?

  27. Coffee Party Says:

    Financial Attormey is not a lawyer, only a goofy wannabe. And Financial Attorney, I accept your challenge. Will meet you 6:00 this evening .in front of Roco’s Tacos on Clematis. I’m a white 55 year-old male, name is Frederic Charles Dobbs, and I’ll be wearing jeans and a green polo shirt and ready to whupass.

  28. Government Expert Says:

    Reading these posts is most amusing. Can’t you all see that Financial Attorney is egging you on? Might be Rick Scott himself and if so it’s good to see he’s got a cynical sense of humor.

    I can advise with confidence that the “sunshine” law was not broken by the meeting participants, nor were laws broken by those who denied access to the press. Private meetings are held in public buildings thousands of times a day.

    The only outstanding issue is whether or not Financial Attorney is going to accept Coffee Party’s challenge. I’ll be there!

  29. Fly in the ointment Says:

    Crickets

  30. PlmBchNative Says:

    Financial Attorney will you be doing a website? You are very informative would love to do a daily log on and read what you have to say on Rick Scott, maybe it could be a site to update the taxpayers of FL with the soon-to-be Governor. Something on the line of Darwins Finance but have it only on Scott.I do not like how they are hitting against the middle class and berating them. I do not believe this man is true-to-form.
    Thank You for explaining alot to us layman.

  31. DUDE Says:

    All upper management and select exempt State employees are required to resign to make new Governor transition possible. It doesn’t men they are out. Everyone was asked to stay 90 days because there are no replacements yet. This goes on all the time. We don’t know who’s going or staying and what agencies will cease to exist because they don’t know what they are doing.

  32. savant Says:

    Readers can expect 4 years of negative articles wtitten about the governor.I would not be surprised if the Post was brainstorming the project right now.

  33. about dreams Says:

    Hi! I appreciate you for the nice information. Keep it up! :-)

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