Interactions with public officials create a heightened risk of reputation injury since statements and writings are often memorialized and discoverable as a result of: Florida’s “Government in the Sunshine Law” (where governmental meetings are often recorded, or minutes taken), Florida’s Public Records Law (where various types of records must be preserved for differing, minimum retention schedules), competitive procurement standard procedures (requiring disclosure of instances where contracts may have been terminated by a governmental agency “for cause”), and by hiring practices (where prior public employment records are obtained and reviewed).
In Florida, it is extremely difficult to subject public officials and employees to suit for defamatory statements they may make within the course of their duties. Notably, Section 768.28(9) (a), Fla. Stat. (2019), reads relevant part:
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