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Gainesville’s Data Targeting group will appeal contempt of court motion

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Florida’s 2012 redistricting battle remains far from over.

A Leon County circuit judge found a company called Data Targeting in contempt Friday morning during proceedings over the release of documents that may be related to redistricting.

The group is a Republican political consulting firm in northwest Gainesville that assisted the state’s contentious redistricting process by providing demographic calculations. Data Targeting released to Judge Terry Lewis all communication with the legislature, but Lewis also requested private records from the group.

Data Targeting prepared those documents, too, but asked they remain private because many are “trade secrets,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. They have yet to turn them over, prompting Friday’s contempt motion. The private records totaled more than 1,800 pages.

The public communication already released, meanwhile, total just 160 pages.

“Relatively speaking, we have received a miniscule number of pages of documents,” plaintiff lawyer Adam Schachter said, according to Matt Dixon’s PolitiJax. Plaintiffs in the case, the Fair Districts coalition, consist of Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and, until Friday, National Council of La Raza.

Data Targeting is actually not a party in the suit, which is directed at the secretary of state and legislature leadership.

Data Targeting’s lawyer, Thomas Philpot, told WUFT on Friday that they will appeal the contempt motion because he said his clients have not willfully concealed information.

Major Harding, a retired Florida Supreme Court justice, will privately review the additional 1,833 documents and determine which, if any, should be released.

That process will begin sometime next week.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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