Governor Scott Asks For Probe of Transition Emails

By: The News Service of Florida; Whitney Ray Email
By: The News Service of Florida; Whitney Ray Email

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.

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  • by Mannix Location: overthere on Aug 23, 2011 at 04:16 PM
    Will be interesting to lean why First Amendment advocates think this is a First Amendment issue.
    • reply
      by Random Government employee on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:30 AM in reply to Mannix
      Because they disappeared after a news agency asked for them. Read the story.
  • by Bobby on Aug 23, 2011 at 12:50 PM
    He's pretty good at this kabuki dance. Lots and lots of practice.
  • by Alice Location: crawfordville on Aug 23, 2011 at 12:19 PM
    OOOOO PLEASE Gov Bald Bully You know where the emails are Being Cute is not your forte'
  • by Sammy on Aug 23, 2011 at 12:11 PM
    All this while the DMS and the Govenor's office are pushing to outsource all State Agency Emails to the private sector. Whoever voted him should have their head examined.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 23, 2011 at 05:00 PM in reply to Sammy
      They are not pushing, It is a done deal. plans are working and mail is on its way to the vendor.
  • by demlican on Aug 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM
    Wow. Is that like pleading the fifth? No wonder no one could prove he was guilty. If nothing, the man is not an idiot. He gave his wife his business, then gave his busines 100s of millions didn't he? And the private sector won't be held accountable in any meaningful way for messing up his emails. Find his private accounts if you want good reading.
  • by Thom on Aug 23, 2011 at 11:33 AM
    In his response to the Sup. Ct. case regarding the rules/regulations he stated very emphatically that he can hire and fire agency heads. Do you think the head of the FDLE (a state agency) did not get the message loud and clear????
  • by Anonymous on Aug 23, 2011 at 11:22 AM
    I`d bet there was NO accident in the choice to use "out of state" people to handle the emails. The primary effort of these politicians is to subvert, hide, distract, "have no direct knowledge of" and its all planned to be able to blame it on "someone else" who can NOT be prosecuted. This should be investigated by an independant group chosen by the Legislature - not by the Governor who directly appoints the head of FDLE.
  • by Widower Location: Wakulla on Aug 23, 2011 at 08:52 AM
    I recall reading awhile back that Rick's in-term chief of staff, since left, did not use the government e-mail system so there would be no record. I guess that's how it is done in the privet sector. Top secret stuff those e-mails.
  • by Heil on Aug 23, 2011 at 08:43 AM
    Pure horse hit - Fire Marshall Bill was INFORMED. Of the investigation and now he is acting like it is HIS idea? Kind of like when he was against the pill mill crack down. ( because of his personal intreats with Solantic) then it goes forward anyway, and lookie here our NON gov. Is taking credit for that. This is one dumb dumb person. His biggest problem? He thinks we all are dumber than him.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 23, 2011 at 08:30 AM
    Even if it is a private vendor they know not to delete things off the server. Something sounds fishy here.
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