State Attorney: City must release documents given to federal grand jury

I received a phone call yesterday from the Chief Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille that the city of Pensacola will fulfill my public record requests concerning Main Street Rehabilitation Project, contracts with Jerry Pate Design, city investments, insurance broker services and expenses of Mayor Hayward and former Chief of Staff John Asmar.

Marcille said that the city had told him that it was putting all the records online for everyone to review. As of Friday afternoon, they had not been uploaded. I also have not received any notification directly from the city yet. I spoke later in the day with Marcille and he said that the city had not returned his call.

The city had denied my requests initially: “The City of Pensacola has been advised by the Florida Attorney General’s office that in accordance with F.S. 119.071(2)(c)1. and F.S.905.24, these records are exempt from the disclosure requirements of Ch. 119 F.S. as long as they are part of an “active” criminal investigation or intelligence gathering operation being conducted by the Grand Jury.”

I asked the State Attorney to intervene. The position of Inweekly was that the records are public documents. The fact that they were also given to a federal grand jury did not make them exempt. The state attorney’s office agreed with us.

So now we wait….