County offers $35,000 for withholding public records

When the Volusia County Council convenes its meeting Thursday, the consent agenda will include approval of a $35,000 payment to Daytona Beach attorney Ted Doran to settle his claim against the county for denying a public records request.

At issue are political campaign contributions made by a company identified as “Waverly Media”. Former Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall was suspicious of certain transactions between the company and candidates in the 2012 General Election.

State Attorney R. J. Larizza’s Office completed an investigation in August 2014 which did not find any criminal activity on the part of the candidates; however, a former Waverly Media employee entered a plea in the case and was given probation.

Doran, who represents former county council chairman Jason Davis in his lawsuit against the county, sought certain records in preparation for trial. The county and its investigator, Jon Kaney, withheld some of those public records.

Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano ruled in August 2014 that in withholding the public records, the county had no statutory defense for their actions.

Later, in December 2014, Judge Zambrano also ruled that the county did not have authority to delegate subpoena powers to Kaney outside a council session.

The proposed settlement to Doran, Sims, Wolfe & Ciocchetti, must still be approved by the council and relates solely to the withheld public records. It does not involve any of the other claims in the Waverly-related cases.

Share your thoughts with our readers >>