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The lead group supporting the measure, Citizens for a Greater Orange County, a mishmash of local and federal public-sector unions including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Amalgamated Transit Union, took to the courts to uncover the text messages of county commissioners who later rejected the proposed referendum. The county commissioners were said to have been exchanging messages with lobbyists opposed to the measure during the meeting on Sept. 11.
The commissioners deleted the text messages in an apparent violation of Florida’s public records law. Text messages sent from county phones are considered public business, according to Citizens for a Greater Orange County.
Local officials now have proposing banning cell phone use during public meetings to avoid confusion in the future. The officials also want to review texting and reporting laws.
“We have to be above the honor system,” Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs told the Orlando Sentinel.
Commissioners also proposed installing jamming devices to stop communications coming from public meetings, as well as outright banning cell phones on days when meetings are held, according to meeting minutes from the Orange County Commission.
Attempts to reach a spokesman for Citizens for a Greater Orange
County were unsuccessful.
This article originally appeared at Watchdog.org.