Jacksonville’s ethics commission wants to enforce open government laws

The Jacksonville Ethics Commission wants to begin investigating and imposing penalties for non-criminal violations of Florida’s open government laws, an idea gaining traction inside City Hall after a State Attorney’s Office investigation found City Council members regularly spoke privately on the phone but failed to uncover evidence that met the high threshold necessary to file criminal charges.

However, it’s not clear whether the commission has the authority to do that. The city’s general counsel Jason Gabriel said local governments are unable to enforce the state’s open records and Sunshine laws, although he hasn’t formally responded to the commission’s request for a binding opinion yet. (Read more here…)