Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-You; Reader Opinions

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-You; Reader Opinions

Article excerpt

The Times-Union reported last week that the public might have to pay for private attorneys of City Council members being investigated for alleged violations of Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law. Readers wrote in to share their opinions. An overwhelming majority don't think the public should bear that expense. Below are their responses, some of which have been edited for length.

Council members should be responsible for their own attorney fees when accused of breaking/bending the law. If they believe they are innocent of any wrongdoing, they should not feel the need to hire legal help at this early stage in the investigation. Those who do so give the people they represent serious doubts as to their honesty and credibility. This seems to me to be another example of expecting other people to "pay" for your mistake.

Leslie Wager, Jacksonville Beach

The City Council members campaigned vigorously for these positions. It was something they wanted. Every game has its own rules, and the candidates should have been well versed in the requirements of this very important public responsibility. Unfortunately, we, the public, believed their campaign rhetoric, so we voted them into office. Poor gullible public!

Barbara Schuster, Mandarin

I most certainly believe the citizens of Duval County should NOT pay for the council members' private attorneys.

Ronald Cable, Lake Mandarin

Obviously they have betrayed the people's trust with the Sunshine Law. I'm hoping citizens in Duval County will speak up and say this is not right. We should not have to pay their legal fees, because they made that decision on their own. They didn't ask us, the taxpayers, if it was OK that they do this.

Shirley Nye, Westside

If the City Council members are found guilty of violating Sunshine Laws, they should pay their own legal fees! If anything, the City Council members, if found guilty, should be fined additionally for the court costs to the general public of convening a grand jury to investigate whether they broke the Sunshine Law. The $500 fine is a joke, unless that is $500 per incident! …

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