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Gov. Charlie Crist launches investigation into 'pancake' e-mails

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist waded into an odd public-records squabble Tuesday by asking the state's inspector general to conduct an inquiry into Florida Department of Transportation e-mails that bear the headlines "pancake," "Pancakes" and "French Toast."

To Lakeland Sen. Paula Dockery, the names are an example of "code words" that FDOT Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos and her chief, Kevin Thibault, used to potentially skirt a public-records request for agency correspondence concerning rail issues for the just-ended special lawmaking session.

Dockery said Crist should delay signing the rail bill, which she opposed, until the investigation is completed. Crist plans to sign the bill today in Tampa.

Kopelousos said the e-mail titles were sent in a moment of inspiration by Thibault who needed an "eye-catching" way to get her attention about a hum-drum rail issue. The breakfast food names stood out and, she said, enabled her to quickly distinguish the e-mail from all others.

Dockery, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, said she wants to "clean house" in FDOT's administrations. State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said Kopelousos should leave if it can be demonstrated that she attempted to break the law.

Gov. Charlie Crist launches investigation into 'pancake' e-mails 12/15/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 10:54pm]
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