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Lawsuit claims U.S. Sugar deal violated sunshine laws

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  1. Freedom of Information
A proponent of Everglades restoration is suing over the proposed U.S. Sugar Corp. deal in Florida, saying it was hashed…

A proponent of Everglades restoration is suing over the proposed U.S. Sugar Corp. deal in Florida, saying it was hashed out in meetings that violated state sunshine laws.

According to The Associated Press, Dexter Lehtinen filed his lawsuit Friday against the South Florida Water Management District saying the dealmakers ignored their obligation to provide advance notice of government meetings and agendas.

"I’m not trying to stop the purchase," Lehtinen told The AP. "I’m just trying to stop a process in which there are no answers and there’s no way to get answers." Specifically, Lehtinen wants to know if the deal would force cut-backs on other Everglades projects, The AP said.

Gov. Charlie Crist, through a spokesman, denied that open government laws were violated during the course of the deal, according to The AP. Crist strongly backed the U.S. Sugar agreement, announced in June, whereby the refineries would close and the state would buy 300 square miles of farmland for restoration.