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Sumter County Sheriff’s deputies’

Pafford wants Scott to answer for deputies chasing off protesters

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 by John Kennedy

Rick Scott’s budget-signing last week continues to draw controversy amid reports that governor’s aides got Sumter County Sheriff’s deputies to chase off two dozen Democratic protestors.

Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, wrote Scott on Thursday seeking answers to what took place at the signing. He asked Scott to explain whether the governor considered the signing a public event, which state employees attended and if their travel was paid for by taxpayers, along with whether protestors were removed at the governor’s request.

Pafford said in his letter that a public records search might reveal the sources. But, he told Scott, for now he’s just asking — and holding back on a Chapter 119.07 request.

UPDATE: Scott said he wasn’t aware of the actions by the Sumter County deputies, saying the exchange occured “before I got there.

“Yeah, I’ll clearly look into it,” Scott said.

When pressed about why he had not yet taken steps, Scott said his recent schedule has been consuming.

“I’m not exactly sure exactly what happened,” Scott said. “I know people said certain things happened before I got there. But I haven’t had time, I’ve been traveling. And I’ve got the trade mission to Canada next week. Clearly, we’ll look into it. I’d have to understand all the facts to give you an answer.”

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