December 2013: The city of Venice settled a lawsuit claiming a violation of a previously settled lawsuit. After signing the agreement, the city held training sessions for council members on the Sunshine law but didn not admit that it violated the law. The city will pay $2607 in legal fees to Citizens for Sunshine's attorney

October 2013: State Attorney Jeff Ashton determined that Mayor Teresa Jacobs and four Orange county commissioners violated the Public Records Law when they deleted text messages about government decisions, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The state attorney did not file criminal charges, but imposed a $500 fine on the officials.

July 2013: The Martin County School Board unanimously approved a $20,000 settlement to the Sarasota-based nonprofit advocacy group Citizens for Sunshine, ending a lawsuit stemming from an alleged violation of the state's Public Records Law.

July 2013: The City of Sarasota entered into an agreement with Citizens for sunshine. In the agreement, Citizen's for Sunshine dismissed its lawsuit over the selection of a contractor for the $7.3-million State Street public garage project and the city agreed to provide Sunshine Law training to purchasing department staff, and pay Citizens for Sunshine's attorney's fees and costs. The group also agreed the violation had been cured.

March 2013: The Clay County Commission has agreed to settle a public records lawsuit fild by Joel Chandler. Although the county has not admitted any wrongdoing, the County Manager siad they are conducting enhanced training on Florida's public records policies for all county employees.

February 2013: The Polk County School Board settled a public records lawsuit with Lakeland resident Joel Chandler. In the settlement, Chandler agreed to drop the lawsuit as well as several public records requests in exchange for the production of email correspondence. The Board must also pay Chandler's legal fees and reimburse Chandler $668 for a records serach that yielded 21 emails. In addition the Board will be providing new training for workers involved in public records requests.

January 2013: The city of Sarasota settled a lawsuit filed against them by activists alleging violation of the Sunshine Law. They agreed to pay $7000 in legal fees and $3000 to hire an outside attorney to represent one ofhte comittee members individually named in the suit. The city plans to hold refresher sessions on the state's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law and email usage for commissioners and advisory board members.

Florida Public Records and Open Meetings Laws Prosecutions Database



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