On the eve of the second gubernatorial debate, Rick Scott is suddenly mired in several lawsuits that are asking him to simply be transparent about how much money he's really making and where exactly he's earning his money. Particularly, if that earned money is coming from corporations that have benefited from his policies.
One of the longest-running lawsuits is that from Tallahassee attorney Steven R. Andrews, who has been asking the courts to allow Google to turn over basic information about Scott's private email accounts.
But now Scott's lawyers are asking a judge not to release those Gmail details until after the election.
For some time now, Andrews has been alleging that Scott's staff has been encouraged to use Gmail accounts to get around Florida's public records law. Things got even more heated when emails from former Scott Chief of Staff Steve MacNamara surfaced.
A judge told Scott to stop fighting the subpoena and to hand over the details being requested. Andrews himself contacted Google and subpoenaed them.
But Scott went and got a lawyer in California to fight the subpoena in Google's own backyard.
Google then contacted Andrews, telling the lawyer that no action would be taken until a court ruled on the petition.
Scott's lawyers filed notice for a November 7 hearing -- three days after the election -- when they'll ask the judge to kill the subpoena.
On Monday, Andrews called Scott's request for the hearing a stall tactic.
"He's flouting the public records laws by using taxpayer money to defend his own misconduct,'' Andrews said, per the Miami Herald. "If he would sign an affidavit that he never used any private emails for public business, then that assertion will ring more true."
Scott's attorney, Daniel J. Leahy, wrote the court, calling Andrews' tactics "a ploy to force the revelation of irrelevant private material so that it can be introduced into a public court file, and later, widely disseminated.''
This isn't the only ongoing lawsuit accusing Scott of being shady with his financial disclosures. Last week, candidate for attorney general George Sheldon filed a suit asking a judge to force Scott to disclose all his assets and investments fully as well as to declare Scott's "blind trust" unconstitutional.
Sheldon's lawsuit claims that the governor has used more than $300 million in proceeds from his severance package from Columbia/HCA to create Richard L. Scott Investments, his private LLC equity firm that specializes in leveraged buyout, turnarounds, recapitalization restructuring, and growth capital investments. The company also has stakes in health care, manufacturing, and technology companies.
In another lawsuit, a former aide asking a judge to make Scott follow the law that requires elected officials to be completely transparent with their finances by filing an annual statement showing net worth and "identifying each asset and liability in excess of $1,000 and its value."
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