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Newspapers joining lawsuit against Scott, Cabinet

Newspapers across Florida have agreed to join the lawsuit that accuses Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet of violating Florida's open meetings law in advance of the forced resignation of former FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. Sarasota lawyer Andrea Flynn Mogensen confirmed Monday that a number of papers would join the litigation in an amended complaint expected to be filed soon. "There's been an influx of interest," Mogensen said.

UPDATE: Media outlets joining the lawsuit are The Miami Herald; Sun-Sentinel; Orlando Sentinel; Palm Beach Post; Florida Times-Union; Gannett Corp.; Scripps Media; Florida Center for Investigative Reporting; Pensacola News Journal; Fort Myers News Press; Florida Today; Tallahassee Democrat; WTSP Tampa and WJXX Jacksonville.

The media's interest appears to have surged after a meeting of Scott and the Cabinet last Thursday in Tampa at which the four statewide officials showed no interest in discussing how and why Bailey lost his job on Dec. 16. The original lawsuit was filed by St. Petersburg lawyer Matthew Weidner, The Associated Press, the Florida Society of News Editors and Citizens for Sunshine, a non-profit open government advocacy group that has been represented in other cases by Mogensen. The case is pending in circuit court in Tallahassee.