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December 14th, 2009 by flanews

New emails have surfaced showing negotiations between the Florida Department of Transportation and CSX Rail show the two may have been trying to thwart the state’s public records law.

The subject lines included such phrases as “waffles” or “pancakes”. CFO Alex Sink and the grassroots group Ax the Tax are calling for the resignation of DOT Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos if avoiding public records request was the goal. But this afternoon, the Secretary Kopelousos says there was nothing nefarious about the subject lines, they were simply eye catching in an avalanche of emails.

Kopelousos: It was a word to get my attention so I could find the email in hundreds of emails in my system.

Reporter: How is SunRail, TriRail not attention grabbing enough, we’re talking billions of dollars?

Kopelousos: You’ve got to think, I get several hundred emails a day especially around the times when these are the hot topics.

As proof there was nothing illegal afoot, the DOT points out that it released the emails. It did, but the release was months after they were requested by SunRail opponent Senator Paula Dockery. In a statement, Dockery says she has make another public records request for any email with a breakfast sounding code word. Says Dockery, “A sound statewide rail policy is something that deserved to be openly discussed and debated-not negotiated behind closed doors.”

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