Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won a court battle which accused his administration of withholding public records about taxpayer-funded flights of illegal migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
Leon County Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that the center could not provide evidence that documents ever existed.
“The burden is on the plaintiff to prove they made a specific request for public records, that Vertol received the request, the requested public records exist and Vertol refused to provide them in a timely manner,” Dempsey wrote, according to The Tampa Bay Times. “While plaintiff meets the first and second prongs of the test, there is no evidence that the public records exist or that Vertol refused to produce public records in a timely manner.”
A Leon County circuit judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that the Florida Department of Transportation and a contractor did not fully comply with public-records requests about controversial state-funded flights of migrants to Massachusetts. https://t.co/tN7uNHYJLc
— WCTV Eyewitness News (@WCTV) January 30, 2023
The DeSantis-organized flights were funded by $12 million from the state legislature, WPTV reported.
The lawsuit, filed by the Florida Center for Government Accountability, claimed that the Florida’s Department of Transportation and Vertol Systems Company, Inc. ran afoul of public records law, WESH 2 reported. The plaintiffs accused the department and the corporation of not complying fully regarding DeSantis’s September 2022 transportation of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.