Tallahassee, Florida - August 23, 2011 -
A spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott said Monday that the governor has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to look into the deletion of emails from the transition period that were reported on last week. Email accounts from Scott's transition to governor were deleted from the server where they were stored, which was run by a private vendor. Under state law, many of those emails would have been public records. Scott asked FDLE to determine why the emails were deleted and whether more of them can be recovered. Scott spokesman Lane Wright said many of the emails in question have already been recovered by getting them from the accounts of recipients or senders, rather than off the servers.
FDLE Investigates Missing Emails
by Whitney Ray
August 23, 2011
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is searching for emails deleted during Rick Scott’s transition from politician to governor. State law requires the emails to be stored and made available to the public upon request. Scott asked FDLE to find out what happened and if the missing emails can be retrieved, but some say the legislature, not FDLE should head up the investigation.
Tallahassee, FL - Governor Rick Scott wasn’t in office a full month before he began butting heads with journalists over public records. From the moment Scott took office he was flooded with requests for interviews, salary information of new staff and emails from elected officials.
Now, eight months after requests were made for emails sent and received during Scott’s transition to office, the public is learning what they records weren’t immediately available.
The company responsible for the transition team’s emails deleted the accounts in mid-January. Most of the emails were recovered, but no one knows how many are still missing.
Scott asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to find out. But since the governor and state cabinet are responsible for appointing the department’s director, Florida Democrats are asking the legislature to take over the investigation.
“What’s not fair is to take FDLE and put them in the spot of asking them to investigate their boss. That doesn’t look like an investigation, that looks like a clearance, and you don’t want that,” said Rod Smith, the Chairman of the state Democratic Party.
First Amendment advocates say the missing records raise a lot of concerns, and fear the more information that is kept from the public, the more endangered our constitutional freedoms become. We asked for oncamera interviews with FDLE and the Attorney General’s office about the investigation, both declined.