Author Topic: Public officials above the law?  (Read 1266 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Public officials above the law?
« on: April 10, 2006, 12:00:00 AM »
Public officials above the law?

A call to Pat Lockett-Felder’s office. In a recent public records request to Councilwoman Pat Lockett-Felder’s office, her assistant Daisy Brown answered the phone. I told her that I had filed a public records request with the Office of Legislative Services that morning that affected several council members and that Ms. Felder was one of them. I told her that I wanted to see all emails sent received by CW Felder that related to Ordinance 2006-176 (the ordinance that authorized $1.1 million in taxpayer money to go to First Timothy Baptist Church to build a gym). I then told Daisy that I had been instructed to call her by Erica Williams in the Office of Legislative Services because Erica told me she could not provide me with these emails–that only Daisy or Ms. Felder could. At this point, Daisy said, “Well, Erica is a liar.”

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  • The Jaxson
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Re: Public officials above the law?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2007, 09:54:13 AM »
Decision on City Council Criminal Probe Expected in Weeks

By Grayson Kamm
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A newspaper investigation may lead to a criminal investigation by Jacksonville's Grand Jury. A decision on the probe could come as soon as July 12th.

The Grand Jury is looking into a possible investigation into Jacksonville's City Council. The questions come after a probe by our news partner, the Florida Times-Union.

Their reporters found evidence of council meetings taking place without proper public notice. That would be a violation of Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law, which is designed to give the public full access to an open government.

The investigation led State Attorney Harry Shorstein to make rare remarks Tuesday night to people running your government who he believes may have broken the law.

"What clearly appears to have been the way that business has been conducted -- it is wrong," Shorstein said, stepping up to dress down the 19-member City Council.

"It would seem to me as if a member of this legislative body -- primary responsibility of which is to pass laws -- would follow the law," he added.

His harsh words are based on evidence from a Florida Times-Union investigation that, in his eyes, "indicates a culture of blatant disregard for a law that is very important to the people that you serve."

Shorstein gave the council a chance for a response. He got none.

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