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Universal has utility workers sign nondisclosure agreements

ORLANDO, Fla. — Workers for a city-owned utility have signed nondisclosure agreements with Universal Orlando Resort, but open-government experts say it may go against the state’s public records laws.

A Universal spokesman tells the Orlando Sentinel the company is only protecting trade secrets as it prepares to build its Epic Universe theme park. The company has disclosed few details about the project.

But open-government experts say the Orlando Utilities Commission is municipally-owned and must follow the state’s public records laws.

The agreements say Universal can sue workers for a breach.

University of Florida law professor Mark Fenster says the utility can’t contract away its Sunshine Law obligations.

An investigation by the Sentinel found the utilities commission and Universal worked to keep records secret after visitors and employees were electrically shocked at its Volcano Bay water park last June.

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Information from: Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/

The Associated Press