TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham on Monday wrote a personal check for $1,200 in an effort to get public information from the state Office of Open Government in relation to deaths at a Broward County nursing home following Hurricane Irma.
A dozen residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died in the aftermath of the storm, which knocked out the facility's air-conditioning system.
Graham says she’s been trying for months to get the public records from the governor’s office about who knew what during the emergency and when they knew it, but she’s had little success. Graham is seeking phone voicemails, text messages and phone call logs.
Governor Rick Scott’s office billed Graham the $1,200 to pay for 100 hours of staff time that went toward fulfilling the request.
“This is another example of a failure of transparency," said Graham. "Again, it’s a small price to pay to get the information. What I want are the voicemails. That’s what I want. I am hoping that the voicemails will be included in this public records request.”
According to the governor’s office, the voicemails left on Scott’s personal mobile phone by nursing home staff were deleted after information was passed along to the proper state agencies.
On Monday, Graham was told she would receive the requested information “promptly.” She plans to make public whatever details are received, once she has them.