Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rod Smith Wants Hearing Over Lost Gov. Scott Emails

Florida Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith is asking the Florida legislature to hold hearings on Gov. Rick Scott's transition team losing emails. There is zero chance of Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon of taking their oversight duties seriously. This is why elections matters. If one chamber of the Florida legislature was Democratic hearing could be held.

Smith's letter is under the fold.

Dear Friend,

Late last week, in the dead-of-night, Rick Scott’s office finally acknowledged that their transition emails, communications subject to Florida’s “Public Records Laws," were deleted. The deletion of these public record emails is a very serious violation of Florida law and raise Constitutional and governance issues of the highest order.

Today, I sent requests to Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Speaker of the House Dean Cannon urging them to convene a joint committee that will oversee an independent investigation of these allegations. Please read the letter below and call on your representatives to support an impartial investigation.

August 23, 2011

Mike Haridopolos, Senate President
420 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Dean Cannon, Speaker of the House
420 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Senate President Haridopolos and Speaker Cannon:

The acknowledgment by the Governor’s office that they have deleted public record emails has greatly concerned the citizens of Florida. If proven to have been an intentional act, these events raise Constitutional and governance issues of the highest order.

Enshrined in our State’s Constitution, and in Florida Statutes, are public record laws aimed at ensuring that every citizen has open access to their government. The “Public Records Law” was established in 1909 under Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes and applies beyond written documents to various electronic forms of communication, including email. Florida’s public records laws are some of the most stringent in the country and public records ensure an open and honest government.

On Friday, the Governor ordered an investigation of this matter by FDLE, an agency under the direct authority of his office. While I have the greatest respect for FDLE and the good work that they do, it is inappropriate to assign them to investigate the constitutional office that appoints the director of FDLE. Generally principles governing conflicts of interest and avoiding any appearance of impropriety as well as public confidence, would call into question the outcome of such an investigation.

Considering the seriousness of this matter, and how close it touches upon the Governor and his inner circle, I am calling on the Legislature to convene a joint committee and instruct them to conduct an independent investigation that includes a public hearing and the appointment of a independent special council.

Today, we join concerned citizens throughout the state in calling on our representatives to order a truly independent investigation.

Floridians deserve answers. And they deserve a process they can trust.


Rod Smith
Chairman, Florida Democratic Party

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