Florida Phoenix by Diane Rado
July 1, 2019
A passionate fighter for the public’s right to know and holding government accountable, attorney Barbara Petersen has served 25 years as president of the First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee.
She’s been a presence in the state Capitol and well-known in legal circles outside of Florida.
Now, Petersen has announced that she’ll retire at the end of the year, though she plans to stay involved in the foundation in her retirement.
Petersen’s replacement will be announced some time in the fall, according to a foundation news release.
She’ll be tough to replace, says Lucy Morgan, the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and former Tallahassee bureau chief for the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times.
“Barbara is an irreplaceable asset to Floridians. She has fought hard to keep doors and public records open to reporters and Florida citizens seeking help. She will be missed by all,” Morgan said in a statement.
Petersen “has written dozens of friend of the court briefs supporting citizens and the media, including two cases before the United States Supreme Court,” and “provided open government training to thousands of government officials, public employees, citizen organizations, and reporters across Florida,” the news release said.
Petersen said this about her long career: