Lawsuit says Rick Scott’s office won’t fulfill public records request

Tampa Bay Times by Steve Bousquet

September 13, 2018

A lawyer who recently won a public records lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott sued his office again Thursday, accusing his administration of ignoring a separate request for public records needed in a pending legal case.

“You must acknowledge the request and respond to the request in good faith,” Ryan Andrews said in a letter to Scott’s office included in a complained filed in circuit court. “Time is of the essence.”

Scott’s office said its Office of Open Government did acknowledge the request.

Andrews represents the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which recently lost a bid to renew a state health care contract. AHF protested the contract award, its case is pending before the an administrative panel, and the case is set to conclude in less than three weeks.

As part of its case, AHF wants records of communications between Scott’s office and dozens of health care lobbyists who represented rival vendors. The list of lobbyists includes Dean Cannon, Al Cardenas, Mike Corcoran, Hayden Dempsey, Nick Iarossi, Fred Karlinsky, Larry Overton, Bill Rubin and Gerald Wester, among many others.

On July 31, Andrews asked for the records. On Sept. 7, he demanded them in five days. In court papers, he says Scott’s office has not responded. He filed suit Thursday and is seeking an accelerated court hearing and wants the governor’s office to pay his legal fees.

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