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Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake Shore Hosp Authority

Gov. Scott's Lake Shore Hosp Auth Has Public Dancing in the Dark, Again


           Jack Berry

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – With less than 9 hours before Gov. Scott's Lake Shore Hospital Authority meets for its August monthly meeting, Authority Manager Jackson P. "Jack" Berry and Chairperson Lorry Chancy have once again refused to post or have posted to the Authority website its agenda and any supporting material.

 


         Lorry Chancy

Ever since Mr. Berry and the Lake Shore Hospital Authority were rebuffed by the state's 1st District DCA, and found in violation of the most basic requirements of the state's public records law, Mr. Berry and Chairperson Chancy have refused to post or have posted to the Authority's website its agenda and any supporting material.

The Requirement of the Florida Statutes:
Clear and Unambiguous

The requirements of the Florida statutes are clear and unambiguous and not difficult to understand:

An agenda shall be prepared by the agency in time to ensure that a copy of the agenda may be received at least 7 days before the event by any person in the state... The agenda, along with any meeting materials available in electronic form excluding confidential and exempt information, shall be published on the agency’s website...

Mr. Berry's Actions Subvert the Law

Recently, Manager Berry has posted a simple agenda after the conclusion of the meetings.

As the Observer has pointed out numerous times, Mr. Berry's failure to post this information and otherwise make it available is a clear violation of the intent and spirit of what is widely known as Senate Bill 50 (SB50), F.S. 286.0114, in which the legislature found "that a proper and legitimate state purpose is served when members of the public have been given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on a proposition before the board..." The law concludes: The Legislature determines and declares that this act fulfills an important state interest."

Epilogue

Not at Governor Scott's Lake Shore Hospital Authority.

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Jack BerryAuthority Manager Berry is a widely known public figure and political operative. He has an interesting track record after four decades on the political map:

In 1976 he ran for Sheriff in Columbia County and lost; in and about 1984 Mr. Berry sued the Columbia County Sheriff in Federal Court for violating his civil rights and lost.

In 1992 Mr. Berry ran for County Commissioner in Suwannee County and lost.

Between 1975-2005 Mr. Berry was President of Berry International Detective Services and was known throughout the area as a "Repo Man"

Between 1992-1996 Mr. Berry was Chair of the Suwannee County Republican Executive Committee

In 2004-2006 Mr. Berry was Chair of the Columbia County Republican Executive Committee

In 2004, Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Mr. Berry to the Authority Board, where he served 2 years as chairman

In 2004 Mr. Berry, while Chair of the Republican Committee, in a widely known incident had the Lake City Police Department issue trespass warnings against two little old ladies who wanted to campaign for George Bush, but didn't agree with his views on other issues

In 2006 Mr. Berry sued two Columbia County Commissioners and a private person because he didn't agree with their views – the case was dismissed.

In 2007 Mr. Berry agreed to a consent order by the Florida Elections Commission that he violated the FL election code and paid a fine.

In 2010 and 2011 Mr. Berry failed to file required financial disclosures with the state.

In 2014 the First Amendment Foundation found Mr. Berry's withholding of his credit report, wrong.

In late 2014, with the help of the Lake City Police Department, Mr. Berry accused a citizen of cyberstalking. The State Attorney found no merit to the charge.

In 2015 the Florida Court of Appeals, (1st DCA), found Mr. Berry in violation of the Public Records Act.