Group seeks to expand ‘textgate’ lawsuit

By David Damron, Orlando Sentinel

5:38 p.m. EDT, April 8, 2013


The “textgate” lawsuit should expand to include four top officials who still have not turned over lost or destroyed public records, according to a motion filed Monday.

The Citizens for a Greater Orange County group filed its lawsuit against Orange County in October, alleging that officials broke open-government laws in communicating with opponents of a sick-time referendum.

The motion says deleted or lost text records have not been recovered by commissioners Fred Brummer and Jennifer Thompson, former Commissioner John Martinez and Graciela Noriega Jacoby, Mayor Teresa Jacobs‘ chief of staff.

“The individuals destroyed or attempted to destroy public records” after a Sept. 11 vote to block the referendum “at a time when they knew or should have known that the messages were public records which must be preserved and produced,” Citizens wrote in a statement.

The Citizens’ attorney also asked for a judge to review all the records turned over so far to ensure no public records were withheld from public inspection. About 3,000 redactions were made that should be reviewed by the court, the group’s second motion states.

Once slated for June, lawyers are now aiming for an Oct. 7 trial in the case. or 407-420-5311 or Twitter @dadamron


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