In a major defeat for Gov. Rick Scott, a California judge on Thursday ordered Google to turn over the computer IP addresses for all correspondence to and from the governor’s private Google email account since Jan. 15, 2011, and the accounts of two of his staff members. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Mary E. Arand ruled that the governor’s attempt to quash a request by Tallahassee lawyer Steven R. Andrews to Google to withhold the information was not valid.
“The subscriber information and IP addresses will assist Andrews in determining whether a public official created the accounts, which, in turn, could establish that official agency business may have been transacted from those accounts,’’ Arand wrote in a four-page ruling filed on the court’s website.
Andrews wants the computer company to give him the subscriber identities and IP addresses to help him prove his claim that the governor attempted to use the email@example.com account to shield his communications from the state’s public records laws. When the governor refused to turn over the information about the accounts last year, Andrews persuaded a Tallahassee court to approve a subpoena to seek the information from Google. Circuit Court Judge Charles A. Francis also ordered the governor to stop fighting the request.