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Government

Governor Comments On Public Records Lawsuit Settlement

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Topher Forhecz/WGCU
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CLARIFICATION: The lawsuits were settled between the state and Tallahassee attorney Steven Andrews.

Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials recently settled multiple lawsuits that claimed they violated the state’s public records law.

But, the AP reports at least one member of the state Senate was not pleased with the way in which the state used some of the funds for the settlement.

The governor discussed the settlement at a press stop in Naples on Friday.

The state settled the lawsuits for $700,000.

But, it pulled $120,000 from an account normally tapped for office expenses and operations.

Scott’s administration asked the legislature to approve the account weeks ahead of the settlement. The paperwork did not say money from this account would be used for the settlement.

The governor responded to a question about why he requested the account be authorized and why he pulled money from there.

“That litigation was against a variety of state agencies: the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of State so as it went through that and it was settled and so that’s how it was paid,” he said.

The AP reports Florida Senate budget chief Tom Lee of Bradenton said he’s fine with using public dollars to pay for the settlement. But he said the state should have been clear about how they wanted to us that money from that account.