A former top aide to the late Gov. Reubin Askew will continue his legal battle to strike down a state law that allows Gov. Rick Scott to place his personal financial assets in a blind trust.
Circuit Judge John Cooper upheld the law in a decision in late July.
Jim Apthorp, who was Askew's chief of staff, is asking the First District Court of Appeal to transfer the case to the Florida Supreme Court. Apthorp asserts that a blind trust law skirts a requirement in the state Constitution, championed by Askew, that elected officials must make a "full and public" disclosure of their financial assets (Scott did file a financial disclosure statement when he submitted his qualifying papers in June).
"We appealed Judge Cooper's ruling because we believe it contradicts the clear meaning of Gov. Askew's Sunshine Amendment and would weaken financial disclosure requirements in Florida," Apthorp said in a statement Thursday. "we're confident that a higher court will agree with our assertion."
Numerous Florida news organizations, including The Miami Herald, Associated Press and Florida Society of News Editors also filed arguments siding with Apthorp's position.
Apthorp's attorneys are Talbot (Sandy) D'Alemberte, a former president of Florida State University, dean of the FSU law school and Democratic state legislator from Miami, and his wife, Patsy Palmer. The lawyers filed their original lawsuit with the Supreme Court, which reassigned it to a lower court.