DeSantis ordered to turn over Martha’s Vineyard migrant flight info

by sam

Samuel Case, FISM News


A Florida judge has given Republican Governor Ron DeSantis 20 days to produce documents related to two migrant flights he sent to Martha’s Vineyard after a transparency group sued for the information on October 10. 

“We don’t believe the Governor’s office responded in good faith to our records request. Not a single record that we actually requested has been produced,” Michael Barfield, public access program director for the Florida Center for Government Accountability, said after filing the lawsuit.

“The public’s right to know is more important than the governor’s desire to dole out misinformation,” Barfield continued. “The governor has a constitutional duty to provide information to the citizens of the state of Florida. When his office fails to do so, we will seek judicial relief to vindicate the public’s constitutional right to know.”

On Tuesday, Circuit Judge J. Lee Marsh sided with the center in the suit. NBC News reported that “Marsh rejected arguments from DeSantis’ lawyers that they should be permitted to wait until Dec. 1 to turn over the records, which include a request for phone and text logs of the governor’s chief of staff, James Uthmeier.”

Prior to the ruling, DeSantis’s attorney, Andrew King, said the administration was “diligently working to provide all of these Martha’s Vineyard records to all of the people who have asked,” while accusing the center of “weaponizing” public-records law, per the Miami Herald

Governor DeSantis is facing numerous legal challenges for chartering two flights of Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in an effort to draw attention to the border crisis, including from three of the migrants, a Texas sheriff, a Florida state lawmaker, and the U.S. Treasury.