Rick Scott stepped to the podium to start a Tallahassee press conference when a man approached him with a handshake.
“Mr. Scott,” the man said. “I have a subpoena here for you.”
Scott’s brief smile fell from his face as he grabbed the subpoena.
Scott didn’t know it at the time, but he had indirectly just come in contact with a man who would become a persistent thorn in his side for the next four years: Steven R. Andrews, a Republican Tallahassee trial lawyer with mad-scientist hair and a flair for headline-grabbing.
Andrews had sent the process server at the time — Aug. 10, 2010, to be exact — to deliver a lawsuit that sought to force Scott to disclose a sealed deposition he gave in a healthcare lawsuit six days before announcing his bid for governor. Andrews lost that suit, which sought to declare Scott a “public hazard.”
Now, almost four years later to the day, Andrews is still vexing Scott over public disclosure.
On Wednesday, Andrews won a battle in a public-records lawsuit against Scott’s administration when a Tallahassee judge ruled that Google and Yahoo must disclose information about private email accounts held by Scott as well as his current and former employees.
Asked later by reporters if he or his staffers used the accounts to discuss public business privately, Scott issued a blanket denial.
“Absolutely not. We follow the law,” Scott said. “This is just an individual that sues the state, tries to cause problems”
Brace yourself for more “problems,” governor.