First Amendment Foundation Asks Bondi to Investigate Own Cabinet

Feb 4, 2015

First Amendment Foundation President Barbara Petersen speaks at a recent Associated Press session at the Capitol.

  A transparency advocate is calling for an investigation into the forced resignation of the former head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Florida’s First Amendment Foundation President Barbara Peterson is asking the attorney general to investigate her own cabinet. 

Barbara Petersen insists the state owes citizens answers about allegations of Sunshine Law violations. In a letter to Pam Bondi, Petersen called for a quote “independent state attorney from outside Leon County” to investigate the ouster of former FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

“At this point, we don’t know whether there is a violation because we’re getting conflicting information from all those who were involved,” Petersen says.

State attorney Willie Meggs has refused to take up an investigation. Governor Rick Scott is accused of violating the state’s open meetings law by relaying messages between cabinet members about Bailey’s removal through staffers. An attorney in St. Petersburg filed suit Tuesday against Scott and his cabinet is alleging they violated the Sunshine Law.