State Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando (Pic by Meredith Geddings)
State Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando (Pic by Meredith Geddings)

State Rep. Randolph requests accounting info on anti-Fair Districts lawsuit

By | 07.29.11 | 10:04 am

State Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, yesterday wrote to Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, requesting a “detailed accounting” of all legal expenses the House has incurred since joining the lawsuit seeking to block one of the two “Fair Districts” amendments from taking effect.

In moving to join the lawsuit originally filed by U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, lawyers for the Florida House wrote that “[t]he House has a considerable interest in establishing the unconstitutionality” of Amendment 6. That amendment, approved by 63 percent of Florida voters last year, aims to limit the state Legislature’s power to draw congressional districts that favor a particular party or candidate.

Since then, legislative leaders have faced tough criticism over spending taxpayer dollars to block a taxpayer-approved initiative. In examining a host of claims over the money, PolitiFact confirmed that “tax dollars are being used for the suit.”

“Given the degree to which consolidated joint motions of the plaintiffs and the Florida House of Representatives are being filed, it is apparent that the Florida House—and thereby, the Florida taxpayers—are the ones shouldering the cost of this litigation,” Randolph writes. “As a member of the Florida House and a caretaker of Florida’s tax dollars, I find it imperative to be able to tell my constituents how their tax dollars are being used in this litigation. Thus, I am asking that the general counsel release to my office a detailed accounting of the legal expenses thus far incurred.”

Read Randolph’s letter in full:

July 28, 2011

The Honorable Dean Cannon, Speaker
Florida House of Representatives
420 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

Dear Speaker Cannon and/or House Counsel,

As a member of the Florida House, I would like to be kept fully informed of any litigation involving this body in regards to Amendments 5 & 6, in particular, the federal litigation of Diaz-Balart vs. Browning, in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Case No. 10-CV-23968), of which the Florida House of Representatives is named as a Plaintiff-Intervenor.

Given the degree to which consolidated joint motions of the plaintiffs and the Florida House of Representatives are being filed, it is apparent that the Florida House—and thereby, the Florida taxpayers—are the ones shouldering the cost of this litigation. As a member of the Florida House and a caretaker of Florida’s tax dollars, I find it imperative to be able to tell my constituents how their tax dollars are being used in this litigation.

Thus, I am asking that the general counsel release to my office a detailed accounting of the legal expenses thus far incurred. I have seen the monthly summaries that give the total amount billed, but have thus far not seen the release of detailed billing records. Please consider this a formal request for all public records related to billing records in this matter. If your office believes any of the records related to billing are not subject to the open records law, please provide a detailed explanation.

In addition, even if your office believes that it is not required to release all such billing records under the open records law, I ask that your office consider going beyond the minimum requirements of the law, and instead provide the records as an acknowledgment of the importance of transparency while spending taxpayer dollars.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Randolph
State Representative, District 36
Florida House of Representatives

Follow Cooper Levey-Baker on Twitter


Comments

Switch to our mobile site