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Vertol CEO, Florida's Public Safety Czar were on board migrant flight, documents show

According to an itinerary obtained through a lawsuit filed by the Florida Center for Government Accountability, the two men flew from Texas to Florida.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Newly released unredacted documents are providing new details about the migrant flights out of Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.

10 Investigates has learned that the state’s Public Safety Czar, Larry Keefe, and the CEO of Vertol, James Montgomerie, were on board the plane that flew from Texas to Florida, according to the documents. The flight ultimately landed in Martha’s Vineyard. Vertol is the aviation company that was paid more than $1 million for the flights.  

The itinerary was provided to the Florida Center for Government Accountability as part of a public records lawsuit filed against FDOT and Vertol in Leon County. The itinerary details that the layover in Crestview, Florida, was only 30 minutes long — a pitstop some say was made to comply with the law that says the migrant relocation program funds had to be used to move those illegally in the state out.

Records show the CEO also signed a document nearly a month after the first flight and attached to an updated proposal for flights two and three stating that Vertol will not provide the service of transporting a person into Florida knowing that the person is an unauthorized alien except to facilitate the detention, removal, or departure of the person from this state or the United States.

Sen. Jason Pizzo (D-FL) has been fighting to stop the flights from taking off again. He says that part of the law that mentions migrants are supposed to be from Florida, and since the ones from Texas were not, he believes it is an improper use of the migrant relocation program.  He’s asked a Tallahassee judge to stop the flights from happening because he says the funds haven’t been used correctly according to what lawmakers passed.

The Florida Center for Government Accountability also sued the Governor’s office for unredacted public records. The office has until Nov. 14 to provide what they requested. The Governor’s office has filed an appeal.

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