Tampa City Councilman John Dingfelder agreed to resign from his elected position. As WFLA reports, the resignation is part of a legal settlement with a government consultant over access to public records. The consultant, Steve Michielini, sued Dingfelder last October, claiming the councilman violated the Public Records Act and used his wife’s email account to send emails connected to public business.
As FAF’s staff attorney Virginia Hamrick explained, the use of a private email account can create public records.
The councilman’s resignation, Hamrick told WFTS, makes clear that Florida’s records and meetings laws are important — the public’s constitutional right of access to records and meetings can’t be ignored.