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Thorough investigative journalism by the reporter.

Did anyone else catch that there are 4 items in the probable cause document but only 3 charges were filed?

The destruction of public records is a serious offense. This state is very strict with its public records law and government in the sunshine. Just because Hopes claimed he was merely protecting personal photos in his county issued device does not mean that’s all he was hiding.

I think it’s premature to allow this fourth offense to not be pursued. Just because the lying thieving guy gave an excuse which may infringe on his health records rights. Even if that’s the case he put those photos in there knowing it’s a county device. I don’t know maybe just maybe a medical executive might know a thing or two to make up an excuse that allows him to get away with destroying public records? But do not conflate destroying public record with exemption.

Yes medical records are exempt from disclosure (just like his social security number was redacted in the probable cause document) but that does not give any public official the right to destroy the public record. Huge difference.

Besides what else was he hiding in that county phone or iPad?

Plus the arrogance to erase the devices in front of the IT staff. That’s unheard of.

Manatee voters - ask the State Attorney why he’s not pursuing the 4th offense. Which was listed first and was thoroughly described by the investigator. Look up Florida Sunshine Law, Florida public records law, government in the sunshine. Time to get informed.

From: More Details Released in Criminal Charges Against Former Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes

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