Rick Scott Skipping Out on Email Records Deposition to Attend Fundraiser
Michele Eve Sandberg
Rick Scott is supposed to be in California today for a deposition in a lawsuit his lawyers filed to block the release of emails from the governor's Gmail account to allegedly circumvent Florida's public records law.
It's a serious issue that puts more light on Scott's shady ways. But instead of being in California for his own deposition to persuade a judge that he shouldn't release those emails -- at least until after the election --- he's in Miami for a fundraiser.
Because, he needs money, apparently.
Tallahassee attorney Steven R. Andrews has been after Scott for some time, trying to get the governor to turn over what he's called "basic information" about those Gmail accounts.
Andrews is trying to find out if Scott encouraged his staff to use the firstname.lastname@example.org account to get around the state's public records laws. The attorney suspects those emails may contain information about the governor's personal business dealings.
Things got even more suspicious when emails from former Scott Chief of Staff Steve MacNamara surfaced.
Andrews eventually contacted Google and have the emails subpoenaed. A judge even stepped in and told Scott to stop fighting the subpoena and just hand over the details being requested.
But Scott went and got a lawyer in California to fight the subpoena. Google then contacted Andrews and told him that no action would be taken until a court ruled on the petition.
Soon after that, Scott's lawyers asked a judge not rule on any of this until after the election.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Scott isn't showing up to the deposition his own lawyers filed to keep the Gmail records from being released because it wasn't on his schedule.
Scott campaign spokesman Greg Blair said the deposition was never on the governor's calendar because "a deposition is not scheduled just because Steven Andrews taps his heels and tries to make it so. All sides have to agree to a date before saying it is 'scheduled.' "
California law requires a governor to ask the court's permission to stop a deposition, Andrews noted.
"Rick Scott doesn't respect the law of Florida, so why should he respect California law?" Andrews said, per TBT. "To get depos from guys like him, you normally have to file five motions and defend an appeal to get him in the witness chair. So I guess I am saying I am not surprised he is not showing up. Let's face it, he sued me in California and is dodging his deposition. Typical."
Meanwhile, the Crist campaign has fired a shot over the issue with a statement from Budget and Operations Director Jared Mueller.
"You won't find him where a judge ordered him to be: In California, giving a deposition on the secret email accounts he illegally used to conduct state business," Mueller says.
Mueller also suggests people contact Scott himself over this via the email@example.com account.
"Alas, you'll just get an error message," Mueller adds.
According to California law, Scott could be held in contempt if he doesn't show up to his own deposition. He'd likely have to pay a fee as punishment, which probably wouldn't be a problem for him.
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