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FDOT to Sen. Paula Dockery: The software ate your public info

Sen. Paula Dockery just wanted to see eight-month's worth of emails issues to and from FDOT honchos about "CSX, rail, liability."** The Lakeland Republican barely got a thing. There was not one email from FDOT chief Stephanie Kopelousos over the past eight months on an issue that her boss, Gov. Charlie Crist, and the Legislature felt could put people to work and transform the economy.

Is that believable she was asked Dec. 3. “I’m sure that we gave her every document that we have and every email.”

Wrong on two counts.

1) The agency's general counsel, Robert M. Burdick, just wrote Dockery with ye olde computin' explanation about a snafu: "the (software) program did not function as intended." Indeed. The agency just delivered a 8,037 emails with the apology letter.

2) The emails aren't everything. The secretary and other FDOT officials appear to be conducting public work with private email accounts. But those email accounts haven't been mind. So the secretary either forgot she does this or decided not to review her personal email for some other reason.

3) In some emails, Kopelousos and others appear to use breakfast food names, like "pancakes," to hide the fact they're talking about rail.

It'll take a while to go through it all to see if any information (about federal money, costs, financing or liability) could have affected the session that ended with a surprisingly easy 27-10 vote in the Senate.

At a press conference before the vote, Dockery promised to "clean house" at the top of FDOT. First, though, Dockery has to get by Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum in the 2010 primaries. As Dockery was growing weary with FDOT, so was Senate President Jeff Atwater. He was in the yelling mood because Kopelousos et al were so unresponsive to getting a deal done.

More here on that.


**Dockery's records request

Please provide me with an electronic copy of all messages that contain any of the following words: CSX, rail, liability; that were sent to or from the state or personal email addresses or electronic devices of yourself, Kevin Thibault and Alexis Yarbrough beginning on March 1, 2009. Please contact my Tallahassee office with any questions concerning this request. Thank you.