Rick Scott will “gladly comply” with blind trust disclosure rules

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Gov. Rick Scott will “gladly comply” with any changes in rules governing public officials and blind trusts, even as the Florida Supreme Court takes up the challenge to laws regarding financial disclosures of those types of accounts. As a multimillionaire, the governor put his assets in a blind trust before taking office.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday contests the 2013 law allowing blind trusts for public officials, arguing that the law violates Florida’s open-government Sunshine Laws.

In a letter to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Scott campaign manager Melissa Sellers made it clear that the governor will comply with disclosure rules on individual investments if the lawsuit is successful and blind trusts are barred.

“If the courts believe the trust should be dissolved, all assets will be disclosed in accordance with the law for qualifying,” the letter goes.

Sellers added the blind trust trustee “has made all choices about what assets are purchased, sold or owned by the trust. In sum, whatever the rules are, the governor will gladly comply with them.”

The state has a noon Monday deadline to respond to the Supreme Court on the lawsuit, filed by Jim Apthorp, former chief of staff for the late Gov. Reubin Askew.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.