Tampa Bay Times by Lawrence Mower
January 21, 2020
TALLAHASSEE — Attorneys for Florida’s former banking regulator on Tuesday reached an agreement with Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis in a long-running feud over public records.
Attorneys for Ronald Rubin, who was fired last year over an allegation of sexual harassment, are narrowing the scope of their request for records about why he was forced out of the job.
Rubin sued Patronis and the Office of Financial Regulation in September, claiming that they were stonewalling him on records requested under the state’s public records law. By law, agencies are supposed to provide public records in a “reasonable” amount of time. Yet what’s “reasonable” isn’t defined in state law.
On July 30, five days after he was fired by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet, Rubin asked for all emails, text messages and phone records between Patronis and his top aides, lobbyists and others involved in Rubin’s ouster.
Lawyers for Patronis have argued that the request by Rubin was too broad, and his office has failed to produce any records of consequence in the case.
The records are potentially damning for Patronis, a restaurateur and the state’s first Chief Financial Officer without a background in banking.