Sunshine Law Suit Against Gov. and Cabinet Heads Into Mediation

Apr 16, 2015

Credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr

A lawsuit filed against Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet over skirting the state's Sunshine Law is heading into mediation. News outlets across the state and others are involved with the lawsuit. They allege the Governor and the Cabinet violated the state’s open meetings law over the dismissal of former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

The battle over government transparency will go behind closed doors next week.

The plaintiff’s attorney Andrea Flynn Mogensen said mediation allows her clients to ask for resolutions that they could not get if they just won the case through litigation.

She said her clients want to make it easier for the public to see how the government makes decisions.

Mogensen said she can’t be too specific with details as they’re about to head into confidential talks. But, she did say there have been previous discussions about what they would like to see.

“Things like prohibiting use of private emails for government business, making the public emails immediately available using technology, recording the meetings of the aides when they’re acting as delegates of the actual cabinet members," she said. "Things along those lines that will make it easier for the public to determine what discussions are being held, what decisions are being made.”

The Governor and Cabinet will have to vote on any agreement the parties may come to in a public meeting.