Florida house files suit to release pitbull’s contract

In this Wednesday, June 11, 2014, file photo, Cuban-American rapper Pitbull listens to a question during a news conference one day before the World Cup soccer tournament starts in Sao Paulo. By trade definition (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File) (Photo: Felipe Dana, AP)

TALLAHASSEE – House Speaker Richard Corcoran on Tuesday asked a Leon County judge to clear the way for release of details about a promotional contract a state tourism agency has with pop rapper Pitbull.

At Corcoran’s direction, lawyers for the Florida House of Representatives argued that claims by a lawyer representing Pitbull are invalid that require the state to keep details of the contract private because of trade secret concerns. Definition of trade in PDR Productions, Pitbull’s management company, made the claim in fighting release of the details.


“The amount of compensation, the deliverables, and the timetable set out in the contract between VISIT FLORIDA and PDR do not meet any definition of ‘trade secret’ under Florida law,” House lawyers wrote. Foreign trade zone definition “They are not confidential and can be disclosed without there being a basis for civil liability, despite PDR’s claim to the contrary.”

But VISIT FLORIDA lawyer Amy Schrader said even if the court agrees parts of the contract are not trade secrets, other exemptions in Florida law would consider some details — like how much the agency spent — as confidential.

“Therefore, even should a court determine that the redacted portions of the contract are not ‘trade secrets,’ the exemptions for ‘business transactions’ and ‘financial and proprietary information’ would appear to apply,” Schrader wrote in a letter responding to a public records request.

Schrader also wrote anyone who discloses the redacted information “may be guilty of a third-degree felony.” But the statute Schrader cited only refers to that penalty for release of trade secret information.

The Florida House already has an unredacted copy of the contract, but Corcoran worried the wide-reaching trade secret claim would make House members the target of a lawsuit from Pitbull’s management company if they publicly disclose it.

“The House Appropriations Committee is investigating VISIT FLORIDA’S use of public funds, including the funds used to pay PDR under the contract,” the House complaint states. “PDR has made an overly broad, unjustified trade secret confidentiality claim regarding the material terms of the contract, including the amount of public funds spent under the contract. Trade journals definition PDR in turn is impeding the House’s legislative prerogative to publicly investigate the use of taxpayer dollars and interfering with the transparency of that process.”

VISIT FLORIDA receives a mix of taxpayer and private dollars to promote state tourism. Domestic trade definition This year, the Legislature gave the agency $76 million from the state’s $82 billion budget. Economic trade definition Corcoran promised VISIT Florida’s budget will be scrutinized before it receives any more taxpayer dollars.

The contract with Pitbull lapsed June 30, but the fight for the details began shortly after negotiations started in July 2015. Trade finance definition pdf A lawyer for Pitbull wrote in a September 2015 letter that he believe the terms of the contract should remain secret due to a “trade secret” clause within the document.

“Our position is clear — VISIT FLORIDA is under no duty to disclose and, quite frankly, is contractually obligated not to disclose, any of our confidential information,” wrote Leslie Jose Zigel, a lawyer who represents Pitbull’s management company, PDR Productions.

Schrader initially denied release of the contract in a Nov. Yen carry trade definition 5 letter to the Orlando Sentinel, arguing the agency’s direct-support role to Enterprise Florida leaves it under unique status exempt from public records law.

“VISIT FLORIDA holds a unique status under Florida law, including being afforded specialized exemptions from Florida’s public records laws consistent with its public purpose of promoting tourism and economic development in Florida,” Schrader wrote.

However, the law that created Enterprise Florida includes specific instructions requiring it to comply with the public records statute like any state agency. Trade sector definition Schrader then noted that Pitbull’s trade secret claim was within the boundaries of other state law.

“Pitbull has expressly asserted that information relating to compensation under his contract with VISIT FLORIDA is a trade secret and confidential; and that maintaining this information as confidential was essential to his agreement to provide services,” Schrader wrote.

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