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Millionaire deluges state attorney with public records requests after daughter’s DUI conviction

Posted Mar 26, 2013 3:10 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Corrected: At one time, Martin E. "Marty" O'Boyle was a political ally of Florida state attorney Dave Aronberg, helping him position himself to get elected.

But after Aronberg refused to take a position concerning the 2011 misdemeanor driving-under-the-influence conviction of O'Boyle's daughter, Sara, the two parted ways. They still have regular dealings, however, due to the deluge of public records requests regularly submitted by O'Boyle, whose daughter has performed community service and paid a fine but is also appealing her conviction, reports the Palm Beach Post.

Florida has one of the broadest public records laws in the country, allowing citizens to access material such as emails and texts. And Marty O'Boyle, determined to help his daughter reverse her conviction, is seeking to take full advantage of it, according to the newspaper. In a single month, a company he controls submitted 1,328 requests for public records to Aronberg and the office for the prosecutor overseeing Sara O'Boyle's case, after Aronberg recused his own office from doing so.

The problem is, the public records requests submitted by O'Boyle's company–which, altogether, are among the most massive in state history–require review and redaction of records before they can be turned over, the newspaper explains.

“I have been, and am, a supporter of the public records law,” said State Attorney Bruce Colton of the 19th Judicial Circuit, whose office is now overseeing Sara O'Boyle's case. “But I think the law can be abused. When you look at the number of requests … these requests could amount to an abuse of the public records law.”

Related coverage:

Palm Beach Post (July 2012): "Dave Aronberg, millionaire ally behind stealth attacks in state attorney’s race"

Updated on March 27 to correct Aronberg's job title.

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