Behind Closed Doors: Exploring the City of Satellite Beach's Sunshine Law Violation

Satellite Beach city hall

In late 2018, three elected government officials of Satellite Beach City held a private meeting to discuss water contamination at Patrick Space Force Base and cancer concerns. The meeting was initially announced as public but was later canceled on the city's website. However, some county officials, state representatives, military base attorneys, elected officials, and a selected group of residents still attended to meet. 

Residents who had planned to attend the meeting were not notified of its last-minute cancellation and, upon arrival, were denied entry by police officers who informed them that the forum was private. Video footage revealed that three elected officials from Satellite Beach attended a closed-door meeting held at city hall, during which only select residents were allowed to participate. Additionally, attendees were prohibited from recording videos or taking notes.

Despite multiple reports and contacts with the police, state attorney, and Florida attorney general, the elected officials were never subjected to investigation or suspension from office by any authority.

A lawsuit was filed against the city, but it was later dismissed. The city then tried to get attorney's fees, but their motion was denied on March 8, 2022.

Published February 12, 2020: Was it a meeting or wasn't it?


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