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Resource ID: #19516
Subject: FOIA
Source: Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
Affiliation: 
Date: May 12, May 14, and June 4

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Description

In Florida, the state's landmark Government-in-the-Sunshine Law prohibits elected officials from discussing government business behind closed doors. The law is among the strictest in the nation, prohibiting two or more members of the same council from meeting with one another unless the public is notified and invited. But records reviewed by the Sentinel indicate that since 1996, Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood and members of the City Council held more than 200 semiprivate meetings to talk about important city issues, in effect deciding the people's business outside the public eye. They held more of these shadow meetings, in fact, than regular council meetings. The unofficial meetings were ostensibly open to the public, but in reality were often kept quiet and held in the mayor's private office, in restaurants and private clubs, or even in some council member's homes.

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