Gov. Rick Scott has agreed to spend $700,000 in taxpayer money to settle seven public records lawsuits alleging he and several members of his staff violated state law when they created email accounts to shield their communications from state public records laws and then withheld the documents. [...] The settlement, first obtained by the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau, is precedent-setting in that it is the first time in state history that a sitting governor and attorney general have been sued successfully for violations of Florida's public records laws. It is also the third legal defeat in recent months for the governor, and the second time he has agreed to use state dollars to end a lawsuit against him.
During the last few months, taxpayers have been soaked for more than $1 million to settle lawsuits in which Scott and his dim-bulb Cabinet flagrantly violated Florida's open-records and open-meetings laws. No other sitting governor has used tax money to end public-records cases that were caused by his own secretive misbehavior. Scott couldn't care less.