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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bondi calls $10k bill for public records 'indefensible'

4

October

Attorney General Pam Bondi said it was "indefensible" that the state gave state Sen. Mike Fasano a $10,000 estimate for collecting public records regarding Florida pension investments.

"I've lost sleep over this bill," Bondi told State Board of Administration Director Ash Williams.

Bondi raised concerns that Williams estimated that it would 300 hours to complete the request, related to an $125 million investment. "I can't comprehend how it is going to take seven and a half weeks for one employees to review these documents," she said.

Williams called bill a "good faith estimate" and said "the cost, frankly, is way too much of the focus."

Williams said the initial request came from the St. Petersburg Times and that he had questions about confidentiality if those same records were given to Fasano, a New Port Richey Republican who has been in the Legislature since 1994. Fasano, who is able to view the documents because he is a lawmaker, has asked Senate President Mike Haridopolos to subpoena the records.

"We have to have an absolute assurance that the law will be followed by anyone to whom we make available documents. Anyone. Including members of the Legislature," Williams said.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater also raised concerns over Williams' process to satisfy the records request.

Williams said a breach of confidentiality could "create liability and could result in economic loss, potentially material economic loss to our beneficiaries."

Williams said he hoped to work with Republican leaders in the House and Senate over the issue.

"It would be my hope that we could address this issue with no cost and no delay," Williams said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 11:49am]

    

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