MARCH 2010: The 1st District Court of Appeal has ruled that the city of Alachua violated the Public Records and Open Meetings Laws when it refused to allow two citizens to review a canvassing board's minutes before the City Commission approved them. This overturns the trial court's ruling that Michael Canney and Charles Grapski's claims were moot since the city eventually provided the records they requested. The Court held that "the City's denial not only breached the duty to provide such records at a reasonable time and under reasonable conditions but also contravened the purpose and mandate of our public records law."

MAY 2010: Gov. Charlie Crist suspended two Coral Springs City Commission members after they were accused of violating the Open Meetings law. The two allegedly met with police union representatives at a sports bar to discuss union negotiations and a salary freeze. Vincent Boccard and Tom Powers deny the allegations.They could each face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

SEPTEMBER 2010: Jeff Koons, a member of the Palm Beach County Commission has pleaded guilty to extortion, perjury and violating the Open Meetings Law. Koons will not serve jail time but will pay an $11,500 fine in addition to five years of probation. The Open Meetings Law charge was based on private discussions of an environmental project he supported, with a fellow member of the Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative, an advisory group for Palm Beach County. The other member denies wrongdoing and has not been charged with violating the Sunshine Law.

OCTOBER 2010: Six Wauchula City commissioners face two misdemeanor counts of intentionally violating the Sunshine Law. One commissioner who only attended one meeting, faced one count. They each pleaded no contest to a single count of violating the Open Meetings Law and were ordered to pay $325 for fines and court costs as part of their plea agreement. The mayor must also pay $500 for prosecution costs with the remaining members paying $300 each for prosecution costs. Adjucation of guilt was withheld.

OCTOBER 2010:Vince Boccard and Tom Powers, two members of the Coral Springs City Commission, have been reinstated by Gov. Charlie Crist following a suspension over Sunshine Law charges. Gov. Crist’s office reviewed the case and rescinded the suspension order nine days after the trial. They were suspended in March after each being charged with a misdemeanor violation of the Open Meetings Law.

 


Florida Public Records and Open Meetings Laws Prosecutions Database

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