Florida government must show records of immigrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard

Florida government must show records of immigrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard

Lawyers representing the Florida Center for Government Accountability who requested the records from Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office said they anticipated there would be an appeal.

A Florida judge found Tuesday that Governor Ron DeSantis’ office is not following the state’s public records law and ordered the state administration to turn over records related to migrant flights from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard within the next few days. 20 days.

Circuit Judge J. Lee Marsh rejected arguments by attorneys for the Florida governor who said they should be allowed to wait until Dec. 1 to turn over records, including phone and text records belonging to James Uthmeier, the chief. of the governor’s cabinet that participated in the operation to bring almost 50 immigrants, mostly Venezuelans, to the island in Massachusetts.

The public records were requested by The Florida Center for Government Accountability and Judge Marsh’s decision was announced Wednesday on Twitter by its director, Michael Barfield.

On October 10, the Florida nonpartisan group filed a complaint in a Leon County court, in the northwest of the state, after requesting the state government to make public the telephone communications and messages that DeSantis had with his chief of team, James Uthmeier, about the two charter flights from Texas to the popular island of Massachusetts.

In the requests made between September 20 and 21, the group also requested, under the Florida public records law, the communications that the governor could have had with his Texan counterpart, fellow Republican Greg Abbott.

Judge Marsh argued that DeSantis’ office showed “no direct steps, or steps, taken to collect what this court considers to be public records” related to state business and conducted on personal devices.

Marsh pointed to requested phone or text records that could provide information about DeSantis’ crew chief’s communications about the flights.

The lawsuit, filed by lawyers Andrea Flynn Mogensen and Matthew Farmer, points out that the governor’s office made public some documents on this controversial transfer of undocumented immigrants, but adds that they do not correspond to the information that the group has requested through the judicial process. .

The request made by this organization is the third lawsuit that DeSantis faces after transporting the group of immigrants from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard, with a stopover at an airport in Northwest Florida.

Part of the controversy centers on the DeSantis administration using public money to finance the two September 14 flights, which departed from San Antonio, Texas.

Earlier in October, several Democratic lawmakers in the Florida House called on the federal government to investigate whether DeSantis broke the law when he flew asylum seekers from Texas to Massachusetts last month on publicly funded planes.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.