The Office of State Attorney Bill Eddins April 15 received another possible Sunshine Law violation complaint stemming from actions involving the City of Milton’s Downtown Redevelopment Advisory Board (DRAB).
Following a previous complaint, Santa Rosa County District 2 Commissioner Bob Cole is facing a June 6 mandatory court hearing before County Judge Jose Giraud, following a non-criminal charge filed against him March 12 by First Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Eddins.
Cole is facing a $500 fine for discussing a DRAB matter with a fellow DRAB member outside of a public meeting.
Randy Crowder, chief investigator for Eddins, was emailed the second complaint from a local resident, who stated a courthouse task force committee created during a May 15, 2014 DRAB meeting by former Mayor Guy Thompson did not notice some meetings held at City Hall.
The complaint alleges the committee met twice in May and monthly thereafter through September 9, 2014 without providing public notice or making public recordings of the meetings.
The complainant said during that period the group created an opinion-based position paper which prompted the council to take action, including making a resolution supporting the position and expending $5,000 to produce related materials promoting the position.
The group began providing public meeting notices and recording the meetings on September 18, 2014.
“They were a study group, not official until the council voted to affirm them. Then the meetings were noticed as official,” Thompson said.
Heather Lindsay, a Milton attorney who represents the City of Milton, said she could not comment on the matter until she has an opportunity to review the complaint and discuss the matter with city staff members.
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