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Senate Bill 0150

Senate Bill sb0150

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 150

    By Senator Saunders





    37-78-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to open government; amending s.

  3         112.324, F.S.; providing an exemption from

  4         public records and public meetings requirements

  5         for proceedings relating to information or

  6         referrals received by the Commission on Ethics

  7         relating to Ethics Code violations; providing

  8         for release of such information to criminal

  9         investigative agencies; providing for future

10         legislative review and repeal; providing a

11         finding of public necessity; providing an

12         effective date.

13  

14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

15  

16         Section 1.  Subsection (2) of section 112.324, Florida

17  Statutes, is amended to read:

18         112.324  Procedures on complaints of violations; public

19  records and meeting exemptions.--

20         (2)  All proceedings, the complaint, and other records

21  relating to the complaint or to any preliminary investigation

22  held by the commission, or its agents, or by a Commission on

23  Ethics and Public Trust established by any county defined in

24  s. 125.011(1), or the commission's determination, are

25  confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1)

26  and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, and any

27  proceeding conducted by the commission or a Commission on

28  Ethics and Public Trust, pursuant to a complaint or

29  preliminary investigation, is exempt from the provisions of s.

30  286.011, s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution, and s.

31  120.525, until the complaint is dismissed as legally

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 150
    37-78-04




 1  insufficient, until the alleged violator requests in writing

 2  that such records and proceedings be made public, or until the

 3  commission or a Commission on Ethics and Public Trust

 4  determines, based on such investigation, whether probable

 5  cause exists to believe that a violation has occurred. The

 6  confidentiality requirements of this section do not prohibit

 7  the commission or its staff from sharing investigative

 8  information with criminal investigative agencies. In no event

 9  shall A complaint, information, or referral under this part

10  against a candidate in any general, special, or primary

11  election may not be filed nor may or any intention of filing

12  such a complaint be disclosed on the day of any such election

13  or within the 5 days immediately preceding the date of the

14  election. The confidentiality provisions of this subsection

15  are subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995,

16  in accordance with s. 119.15, and shall stand repealed on

17  October 2, 2009, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through

18  reenactment by the Legislature.

19         Section 2.  The Legislature finds that the release to

20  the public of proceedings relating to information or referrals

21  received by the Commission on Ethics relating to a possible

22  violation of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and

23  Employees prior to a probable cause determination may have an

24  adverse effect upon the person who is subject to the

25  complaint. The Legislature further finds that such

26  determination may subsequently be reversed or modified and

27  that the commission may choose not to continue the

28  investigation into the alleged violation. The Legislature also

29  finds that the exemption is of limited scope so that an

30  accused's rights are protected while, at the same time, the

31  public's right to obtain information is preserved. Therefore

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 150
    37-78-04




 1  it is a public necessity to protect the confidentiality of

 2  such information.

 3         Section 3.  This act shall take effect on the same date

 4  that Senate Bill ____ or similar legislation takes effect, if

 5  such legislation is enacted in the same legislative session or

 6  an extension thereof.

 7  

 8            *****************************************

 9                          SENATE SUMMARY

10    Provides an exemption from public records and public
      meetings requirements for proceedings relating to
11    information or referrals received by the Commission on
      Ethics relating to possible Ethics Code violations.
12    Provides for release of such information to criminal
      investigative agencies. Provides for future review and
13    repeal. Provides a finding of public necessity.

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CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

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