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‘It looks really bad’: Scott Maddox texts point to deal-making outside the Sunshine

Scott Maddox played fast and loose with open government requirements during his years as a Tallahassee city commissioner, routinely taking part in secretive conversations and backroom deal-making that violated the spirit if not the letter of the Sunshine Law.

Tallahassee city commissioner Scott Maddox speaks at a CIty Commission meeting on July 9, 2021 (Andrew Salerno/Democrat)

His text messages, which were obtained by the FBI during its long public-corruption investigation into City Hall, show he communicated directly with fellow commissioners about city business outside of public view and used politically connected third parties to get intelligence about where they stood on a variety of issues.

Florida’s Sunshine Law — in place to guarantee citizen access to government meetings and records — prohibits two or more members of the same board from discussing public business outside of noticed meetings. Board members also can’t use third-party liaisons as conduits to glean information about their colleagues’ positions or plans.

Read the entire article here.

Contact Jeff Burlew at or follow @JeffBurlew on Twitter.