The AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a public-records lawsuit Thursday in Leon County circuit court alleging that Gov. Rick Scott’s staff refused to provide copies of his public calendar and travel schedule.
The lawsuit came after the group said it tried to contact the governor about concerns with the state Agency for Health Care Administration’s recent decision to not renew Medicaid contracts in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties for an AIDS Healthcare Foundation managed-care plan known as Positive Healthcare.
The foundation also has filed a legal challenge about the contracts in administrative court. If it loses in administrative court, more than 2,000 patients with HIV and AIDS will have to enroll in a different Medicaid managed-care plan.
The new lawsuit alleges that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation asked Scott’s office for copies of the governor’s electronic calendar and hard-copy calendars showing all meetings, events and appearances for Scott from July 20 through Oct. 31.
It also requested all documents and records that indicate where Scott will travel —- and reside —- for those months. Also, the organization wants a list of all campaign and fundraising events Scott will attend as part of his race for the U.S. Senate.
Imara Canady, regional communication and community engagement director for the Southern bureau of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said Scott has made increasing transparency a campaign promise in his bid for the U.S. Senate but has failed to deliver on that as governor.
“What exactly is he doing? Where is he now? No one seems to know what he’s doing as governor,” Canady said.
But a spokesman for Scott pointed to security concerns related to releasing the governor's schedule.
“For obvious reasons, releasing details of the governor’s schedule weeks in advance could present very serious security issues," Scott spokesman McKinley Lewis said. “This lawsuit has nothing to do with patients. It was filed by a vendor who is upset that they did not have their contract renewed. Instead, AHCA, through a competitive procurement, decided to enhance HIV/AIDS services in all 67 counties. This vendor only serves three counties.”