Lee County school district hands over public documents to Alfie Oakes’ attorney

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
The School District of Lee County. Photo via WINK News.
Credit: WINK News.

Time was up Thursday for The School District of Lee County to turn over emails to the public after a judge ruled it violated the State’s public records act.

The District was on deadline to get emails to the person who requested them by morning time.

Someone from the law office of Steven J. Bracci, who is representing Alfie Oakes of Oakes Farm, went to the District and picked up the documents.

The lawyer began requesting documents from the District related to its decision to terminate its contract with Oakes Farms in 2020.

The District claimed all of the requests were sent to a junk folder, which permanently deletes emails after one week.

But this past Tuesday, the judge in the case ordered the District to hand over more than 4,100 emails related to the request.

We talked to a woman who has been struggling for years to get public records from the District for her daughter, who she says has a disability and needs aid.

β€œIt’s not just a win for Steve Bracci and his client,” parent Jaqueline Perez said. β€œIt’s a win for the entire community, so many people who have been struggling, and we can’t afford to hire an attorney every time they don’t want to give us a public record and spend 10, 15, $20,000. It’s impossible.”

It’s important to note Perez ran for Lee County School Board district three in 2020 and lost.

We reached out to the District and received a brief comment.

β€œAs a District, we constantly review ways to better provide services to our constituents,” Lee County school district shared in a statement.

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