Judge Dempsey Rules in Favor of Matlow, Recuses Herself from Florida Sunshine Blueprint Trial

Dempsey filed a motion to grant disqualification, recusing herself from overseeing the lawsuit which seeks to bring Leon County's 1% sales tax agency under sunshine.

// June 27, 2022,

11:41 am

Updated:July 2, 2022

Florida Division of Elections expenditure records from Judge Angela Dempsey show payments of $194,000 to VancoreJones since 2007 retaining their services as political consultants. | Florida Division of Elections, Accessed June 2022.
An example political advertisement that VancoreJones produced on behalf of Judge Angela Dempsey. | Committee to Re-elect Angela Dempsey, 2020.

Judge Angela Dempsey has ruled in favor of Attorney Marie Mattox and City Commissioner Jeremy Matlowrecusing herself from overseeing their lawsuit against Leon County’s 1% Sales Tax Agency, Blueprint

Last week, Jeremy Matlow, City Commission Seat 3, filed a motion to disqualify Judge Angela Dempsey from overseeing a lawsuit against the Leon County’s 1% Sales Tax Agency, Blueprint. Dempsey has been a long-time client of VancoreJones, which is an establishment-linked lobbying and political consulting firm. Marie Mattox, representing Matlow in the lawsuit, wrote a lengthy recusal motion outlining the decades-long relationship between Blueprint, VancoreJones, and Dempsey. 

Chief Judge Jonathan Sjostrom will select a new judge from Leon County’s civil circuit bench, which likely leaves Judge John Cooper, who serves as the head of the civil bench for the 2nd Judicial Circuit, to head up the case.

Once the case begins, Matlow seeks a temporary injunction against the agency to halt further Intergovernmental Management Committee (IMC) meetings outside of the Sunshine.

The lawsuit also seeks a declaratory judgment that would force Blueprint staff to hold future IMC meetings in the Sunshine.

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3 Responses

  1. Matlow is RIGHT…..EVERYTHING dealing with Local Government needs to be in the Sunshine. As long as one side is a member of the Government, it should fall under the Sunshine Law. Even a Meeting in a Bar or even a Bathroom.

  2. I hope Matlow prevails in the overall lawsuit as he is correct, there should be transparency for the Blueprint staff.

    I had no doubt that Judge Dempsey would recuse herself as she is a good judge.

  3. Can’t help wondering why an elected judge, member of a profession that is expected to live up to the highest standards of unbiased judgement required by law and the constitution, would spend so much money on hiring the services of Vancore Jones, a lobbying firm so involved in local politics.

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