Judge orders DeSantis administration to release migrant flight records

A Leon County judge Tuesday ordered the DeSantis administration to release records related to last month’s migrant flights.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 9:44 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Leon County judge Tuesday ordered the DeSantis administration to release records related to last month’s migrant flights.

That controversial move by DeSantis involved transporting nearly 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.

The judge ordered the Governor’s office to provide these records, which were requested last month by the Florida Center for Government Accountability.

DeSantis’s administration now has 20 days to do so.

“Provocative actions were taken, spurring citizens of this state to want open public records,” circuit judge J. Lee Marsh said.

The lawsuit, filed by the Florida Center for Government Accountability, argued that the Governor’s office is withholding records related to the incident.

“People on both sides of the aisle want access to public records, so this really isn’t a political issue--it’s really not a partisan issue,” an attorney for the Florida Center for Government Accountability, Andrea Mogensen, said. “Public access is the right of the people. The records belong to us.”

But attorneys for the DeSantis administration say they’re working on it.

“We’re diligently working to provide all these Martha’s Vineyard records to everybody who has asked,” said DeSantis attorney Andrew King.

King said they’ve received nearly 100 requests for records related to the Martha’s Vineyard flights.

“What they’re doing is, by using this suit, they’re weaponizing the public records law so they can jump everybody else in line,” King said.

But Judge Marsh sided with the defense, saying the records needed to be released within 20 days.

“People hold our government accountable through open records,” he said.