Florida Investigates Former Employees Linked to Washington Post Records Lawsuit

Florida is investigating two former employees caught up in a legal battle with Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration over public records. This all started with a heated disagreement about records tied to DeSantis’ presidential campaign travels.

The investigation, outlined in a hefty 129-page report obtained by POLITICO, looked into various allegations. These ranged from conflicts of interest and workplace issues to possible mishandling of the budget and misconduct.

There were even claims that the employees may have misled top officials about the department’s finances and tried to get unfair pay raises for colleagues, including one employee’s daughter.

Even though the report didn’t result in any charges from the Tallahassee prosecutor, it did find that these former employees broke state rules on things like insubordination, ethics, and how to behave at work. There were also hints of a not-so-professional relationship between the two.

The report also highlighted worries within the FDLE about money. Specifically, whether they had enough to keep Governor DeSantis safe during his presidential run. It led to concerns about potential budget shortfalls and how that might affect the agency’s ability to do its job properly.

But the ex-employees’ lawyers say this investigation feels like payback. They claim it all started when their clients complained about how records were being handled, especially those related to DeSantis’ travels. And it’s happening right as The Washington Post is suing over a law that keeps the governor’s travel records secret.

The timing of this report, just before the ex-employees were set to sue, has raised eyebrows. Some folks see it as an attempt to discredit people who are pushing for more openness in government.

Despite what the FDLE says about following the rules, there are doubts about why this investigation happened and what it means. The ex-employees’ lawyers argue that instead of dealing with the real issues, this is just an attempt to ruin their clients’ reputations.

As the legal drama unfolds, it’s shining a light on a bigger question: how much should the public know about what elected officials are up to? The outcome of this fight could have a big impact on how transparent Florida’s government really is.

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