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Fasano to SBA: Documents missing from my public records request

On the eve of a decision about Ash Williams' job status, Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, sent the State Board of Administration chief a letter asking for specific documents either withheld or redacted from his public records request about a $125 million pension fund investment.

Appearing before a Senate committee last week, Williams announced that his office recently delivered the final portion of Fasano's request. Fasano's office said Tuesday the documents came at no charge. Still, Fasano wrote, much is still missing, and the heavy redactions render "many of the records essentially useless."

The feud made headlines in September when Williams sent Fasano a nearly $11,000 bill for meeting the inquiry. SBA trustees CFO Jeff Atwater and Attorney General Pam Bondi scolded Williams for his handling of the inquiry.

Trustees will decide whether to renew Williams' contract as SBA executive director and chief investment officer tomorrow. Williams took the job as executive director in 2008. Here's the Cabinet agenda for Wednesday.

And here's the letter:

January 17, 2012

Dear Mr. Williams:

Last week your office delivered what was reported to be the final of 13 tranches, which supposedly fulfilled the public records request I submitted regarding the $125 million Ramiius/ Starboard investment. I say “supposedly” because I have no way of knowing whether or not all the information I requested was actually included in the tranches. There was so much redaction of key information that I am left with many unanswered questions.

I do not see a copy of the SBA approval memo or the entire evaluation report of Ramius by Wilshire.  These are two key documents that I requested. Additionally, either the SBA or a third party blacked out key portions of the documents which renders many of the records essentially useless. Among the items that were deleted are investment guidelines, fees, organizational expenses, other expenses and conflicts of interest provisions. 

I would like to know specifically what law allows either the SBA or a third party to redact the specific information I requested. I look forward to your prompt response to this request.

Yours truly,

Mike Fasano

State Senator, District 11


Cc: The Honorable Rick Scott

       The Honorable Jeff Atwater

       The Honorable Pam Bondi