Gov. Scott's Office: Ask Employees For Records, Not Us

Apr 18, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The administration of Gov. Rick Scott is making a unique argument when it comes to handing over public records.

Florida Governor Rick Scott
Credit The Office of Governor Rick Scott

Scott's lawyers have recently declared that state employees and former employees are the "custodians" of any text messages or emails done on personal accounts even if they cover state business.

The Scott administration made this argument in response to a lawsuit from a Tallahassee attorney embroiled in an ongoing land dispute with the state. Steven Andrews has started filing records requests directly with employees.

The head of an open government advocacy group says this practice could set up huge barriers for the press and public in trying to obtain public records.

Barbara Petersen with the First Amendment Foundation also said this could create a new legal liability for state employees.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.