‘The public deserves an answer’: WPTV sues Riviera Beach to obtain text messages under Florida law

Riviera Beach has not provided text messages requested under Florida’s Sunshine Law, so WPTV has sued to obtain the information.


WPTV West Palm Beach by Wanda Moore

February 7, 2018


As part of the investigation into the controversial firing of Riviera Beach City Manager Jonathan Evans, Contact 5 pored over months of phone records of the three city council members who voted to fire him.

Repeated requests for text messages sent between the three council members and the police chief on their city-issued phones have gone unanswered, so WPTV has sued the city to obtain them.

“So, what we know now, thanks to the phone records, is that the reason they didn’t talk in public is because they talked a lot in private,” said First Amendment attorney Florence Snyder.

WPTV found calls between council members as well as calls to Police Chief Clarence Williams and Alex Freeman, who hoped to replace Williams, until Evans told him he wasn’t qualified and would not be interviewed.

WPTV found 99 text messages of interest, that by Florida law are public records. [READ MORE]

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