The Nassau County Attorney will resign after a State Attorney’s Office investigation found he violated the public records law. The Florida Times-Union reports that the State Attorney’s Office found evidence that Michael Mullin failed to preserve public records, failed to timely respond to records requests, and allowed the deletion of text messages constituting public records. In addition, the State Attorney’s Office found that Mullin oversaw the county’s systemic failure to retain text messages sent or received in connection with official business.
Based on evidence indicating that Mullin committed criminal violations of the Public Records Act, the State Attorney’s Office reasoned that he disqualified himself from serving as county attorney.
Mullin’s resignation comes less than a year after a court ruled that Nassau County officials and employees violated the public records law. Developers sought text messages and communications related to a development project. When county employees failed to provide all relevant messages, the developers sued. A judge found that county officials violated Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes by failing to timely provide records, improperly deleting text messages, and failing to undertake a reasonable search for requested text messages. The judge noted that deleting text messages without any concern for the content of the messages is inconsistent with the mandates of the Public Records Act and retention requirements.