Analysis Varies on Alleged Sunshine Law Violation

By Kimel, Earle | Sarasota Herald Tribune, October 21, 2016 | Go to article overview

Analysis Varies on Alleged Sunshine Law Violation


Kimel, Earle, Sarasota Herald Tribune


NORTH PORT

NORTH PORT -- An ethics complaint alleging a possible Sunshine Law violation tied to a commissioner's email blast is scheduled to be discussed by the North Port City Commission Tuesday.

A city spokesman said he is not aware of a similar complaint coming before the commission in recent memory. Meanwhile, a local paralegal well versed in Sunshine Law violations said the complaint is likely not valid.

The complaint stems from an email update City Commissioner Linda Yates used to send out from her personal email -- later moved to her city email account -- and covers the period of June 1, 2012, to July 20, 2016, the date it was filed with the Florida Elections Commission by North Port resident Kathy Schure.

It also involves North Port Mayor Jacqueline Moore as a potential recipient of the email blast, either on her own, through her husband or members of her staff, for the period of Jan. 16, 2015, to July 20, 2016.

At first, Yates sent the email blast, KYI -- or Keeping You Informed -- from her private email to addresses gathered through her election campaign. In 2015, she started sending out the blast from her city email, following advice from the city attorney.

North Port is the only government in Sarasota County that does not provide either online access or email mirroring to the emails of elected officials. The city clerk must search email archives, print out items and charge a fee to any party seeking to monitor them. …

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