The Sunshine Law applies to a quasi-judicial hearing or meeting or to any investigatory proceeding authorized by and under the direction of the board. An individual member of the board or a member and the board’s executive director who conduct such hearing, meeting or investigatory proceeding on behalf of the entire board are required to hold it in the Sunshine. In Lofton’s case, he did not conduct an investigatory proceeding on behalf of the entire board nor did he provide the results at the meeting. His actions are continually in the darkness and he will not provide information to the council on his findings.
A standing or select committee or subcommittee of the legislature is empowered by statute to review the work of state agencies coming within its jurisdiction, request any report of such agency on its operations, inspect and investigate the agency’s records and subpoena the production of any documentary evidence it may desire to review.
All meetings of any board or commission of any State agency or authority….except as otherwise provided in the constitution at which official acts are to be taken are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times.
The Supreme Court in Miami Beach v. Berns, supra, said that the authorization of secret meetings for discussions of condemnation matters, personal matters, pending litigation, privileged matters, or any other matters relating to the board’s business “is the concern of the Florida Legislature and unless the Legislature amends Fla. Stat. s. 286.011, F. S. A., it should be construed as containing no exceptions. A meeting involving alleged violations of laws or regulations is under the Sunshine law. Canney v Board of Public Instruction, supra. A public agency may not read exceptions into the Sunshine Law, nor is it allowed to circumvent the plain provisions of the Statutes Canney v Board of Public Instruction, supra.
Under s. 466.11.F. S.: Any board member or its executive director shall have the power to administer oaths, take affirmations of witnesses, issue subpoenas and send for persons or papers, and to compel the attendance of witnesses, the production of all necessar y papers, books, records, documentary evidence and materials, in any hearing, investigation, accusation or other matter coming before the board. If any person refuses to obey any subpoena, process or order issued by the board, the said board may certify this fact to the circuit court. (Emphasis supplied.).
A subpoena issued by a single member is isued for the board, the same as where a clerk issues a subpoena for the court. The statute itself recognizes that any order is, in fact, “issued by the board.”
And this is for Lofton who violated the Law numerous times: Section 466.11 does not, however, empower a single board member to hold a meeting or a hearing or to conduct an investigatory proceeding.
Section 466.08(1), F.S. allows the board to appoint an executive director provided that “all duties and responsibilities delegated to the executive director….shall be performed by the executive director under the direction and authorization of the board (Emphasis supplied)
Lofton negotiated terms with the School Board regarding SHE after he was told it could not be leased by the Town for $1.00; He negotiated the Fire and Emergency Services Agreement for the Fire Department without authorization; He negotiated the reverter clause with the School Board relating to the Carver School Property and he sought money from State Rep. Brannan and State Senator Montford, none of which was delegated toLofton by the Town Council.
The Sunshine Law does not provide for any “government by delegation’ exception: a public body cannot escape the application of the Sunshine Law by undertaking to delegate the conduct of business through an alter ego