A federal judge will decide whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency will have to open its books to show who got aid money after four hurricanes hit Florida last year.
The News-Press of Fort Myers, Pensacola News Journal and FLORIDA TODAY have sued after FEMA refused to produce records naming recipients of hurricane aid and how much each one was paid.
The newspapers, all owned by Gannett, want the names and addresses of people who shared in nearly $5 billion in payments to investigate whether they were fair and equitable.
FEMA claims that if it reveals the names and addresses of people to whom it gave money, newspapers could use the information with other databases to determine the contents and value of a person's home, the type of home, their income and insurance coverage.
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson from Florida is among the legislators who have demanded full disclosure after fraud and waste were uncovered after the 2004 storms.