One of the largest public records requests in Florida history has been unleashed on the state attorney’s offices in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.
Making the requests is a company headed by Marty O’Boyle, the millionaire real estate developer who helped — and then opposed — Dave Aronberg on his path to state attorney last year.
Subscribers get total access to this story, and all our in-depth news, digital editions and exclusive content. Subscribe today, or try a 24-hour or 7-day digital pass.
All Day Access — 24-hour digital pass99¢ for 24 hours
All Week Access – 7-day digital pass$3.99 for 7 days
All Access, All the Time – Print & DigitalView Offers
Post Print Subscriber — I need to register my account for digital access.Access Digital
Registered Post Subscriber — Sign me in.Sign In
Marty O’Boyle, representing Sweet Aron Boy Blimp Co. LLC, made more than 1,300 public record requests between Feb. 12 and March 13 to the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast state attorney offices.
O’Boyle, a commercial real estate developer, said he wants to learn about and expose the offices that have been involved in appealing his daughter’s 2011 DUI conviction. He has assigned two attorneys full-time to research public records law.
874 requests to Bruce Colton, state attorney on the Treasure Coast.
454 requests to Dave Aronberg, Palm Beach County state attorney.
More than 1,000 requests sent over three days, Feb. 25-27.
Estimated charge for first batch: $13,921, Treasure Coast; $8,515, Palm Beach County.
Aronberg’s office sent nearly 300 separate letters by U.S. mail outlining $1,400 in charges, some for as little as 45 cents.
What is a public record?
All government records in Florida, which has one of the broadest public record laws in the nation, are public unless the legislature passes a law to block the public from viewing the record. For example, police files in active criminal investigations are secret until the case closes.
Anyone can get a public record; and they are not required to say who they are or why they want the record.
They can ask for as many records as they want, but they may have to pay.
Government agencies can charge a fee for reviewing documents, such as email, to remove non-public information. For instance, Social Security numbers, which are not public, must be redacted before a document is released.
Agencies can charge up to 15 cents per one-sided copy for paper copies that are 8 1/2 x 14 inches or less. For all other copies, agencies can charge the “actual cost of duplication.”
Source: First Amendment Foundation