As expected, Gov. Rick Scott did not attend a deposition in Tallahassee this morning for a lawsuit he filed in California to block the release of information about Google email accounts used by him and his executive staff.
And you can bet that, 11 days before the election, Democrats are making political hay about that. But not just Democrats.
“If you have nothing to hide, Rick Scott, then you should have no problem revealing the emails between yourself and your staff,” Pasco County Tax Collector and former GOP state legislator Mike Fasano said at a press conference in Tampa this morning.
Fasano, who is supporting Charlie Crist in the gubernatorial election this fall, called on the governor to come clean today. Instead, the governor blew off the deposition filed by Tallahassee attorney Scott Andrews and opted to attend a fundraiser at the Biltmore with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in Coral Gables, risking a contempt of court charge.
“Rick Scott could have come clean today. He had a chance,” said Tampa state Representative Janet Cruz, who joined Fasano in front of the Hillsborough County Courthouse on Pierce Street. The two are calling for an investigation investigation into Scott’s efforts to hide the private email account — firstname.lastname@example.org — which Andrews contends was created to evade the Sunshine Law.
“I believe that it should be the leaders of both chambers and [they should] come up with a select committee,” Fasano said about an investigation. Scott has not denied creating the private gmail account, but he denies that he used it for any rule-breaking of open records laws. But Mike Fasano isn’t so sure.
“Whether a crime has been committed here or not, I don’t know. But what has been committed is not following true to the Sunshine Laws and to our openness here in the state of Florida,” he said, adding that he believes there may have been business that was conducted in those emails that “he may not want to show the state of Florida.”
Whether the GOP-led Legislature would agree to hold a special session to investigate the governor is dubious, and certainly not before a general election taking place in a week and a half.
As reported by the Miami Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas, Governor Scott filed the lawsuit last month in Santa Clara County court in an attempt to prevent Google from releasing information about who and when the private Gmail accounts used by Scott and two staff aides were created. Andrews got a Tallahassee court to approve a subpoena to seek the information from Google.
But Scott continues to fight the subpoena. That subpoena asks Google to turn over documents that show when the Gmail accounts were created, who created them, and which computers were used.
Fasano is an enthusiastic supporter of Charlie Crist for governor, bucking party lines. It’s not the first time he’s cross party leadership, though he’s less vulnerable to political payback as a tax collector. That’s unlike 2010, when Fasano endorsed Crist for Senate after he left the Republican Party to run as an independent in his unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate against Rubio.