There were no surprises this morning when Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton released his office’s report on FDLE’s texting investigation into Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and other Commissioners. Even though the report says that officials like Jacobs did violate Florida law in regards to public records and sunshine laws, the penalty is only a $500 fine.
This is seen as a slap on the wrist for Orange elected officials and can’t make sick time activists or political groups who launched this complaint happy. From the report:
“My conclusion, therefore, is that these text messages were public records and could only lawfully be disposed of pursuant to statute. The statutory procedures in this case were not followed and, therefore, all of the officials who deleted text messages related to this issue violated Florida law.”
“Violation of any provision of the statute, regardless of intent or knowledge, constitutes a civil infraction punishable by a fine of up to five hundred dollars.”
Full report here: Texting Investigation – State Attorney statement