Waiting by the phone, record requests languish

Inweekly has three significant public record requests outstanding.

We have challenged Escambia County’s position that its consultant’s report on the April 30 jail blast is a work document of attorney Ed Fleming and therefore not a public record. Our position is the county lost that privilege to withhold the written report when it allowed Fleming to give an oral report on his findings at the Board of County Commission meeting on August 21.

County Attorney Alison Rogers has provided Inweekly a copy of the video of the meeting and has her staff reviewing the law. We are waiting to hear from her. Our request was made Tuesday morning.

We have two requests with the city of Pensacola. On Wednesday, we asked for copies of the subpoenas sent to city employees. According to the daily newspaper, the city has hired legal counsel for them, but we have yet to be given the subpoenas or an official list of the staff members asked to appear before the federal grand jury in Tallahassee next week.

Yesterday, we requested to review the documents gathered to comply with the one federal subpoena that the mayor’s office has released to the media. That subpoena is dated August 15, two weeks ago and the day after the mayor announced City Administrator Colleen Castille’s resignation. Mayor Hayward stated in a prepared statement released Wednesday night that he would make all records available.

Jane Ballard, the city’s public records coordinator, sent me a message yesterday after five: “Because of the volume and nature of the information requested in the subpoena, it will require a few days to collect and since we are closed on Monday for Labor Day, may not be available until next week.”

I have requested on Wednesday, Thursday, and today for a face-to-face interview with the mayor. Today I also asked for a city official or hired outside counsel knowledgeable on the subpoenas to hold a press conference to answer questions.

The phone has yet to ring…