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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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July 17, 2013 - 8:24 am

Among Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey’s serial acts of prosecutorial misconduct, she fired a whistleblower. Now she’s being sued for it.

Ben Kruidbos, Corey’s former director of information technology, was fired after testifying at a pre-trial hearing on June 6 that prosecutors failed to turn over potentially embarrassing evidence extracted from Martin’s cell phone to the defense, as required by evidence-sharing laws.

“We will be filing a whistleblower action in (Florida’s Fourth Judicial District) Circuit Court,” said Kruidbos’ attorney Wesley White, himself a former prosecutor who was hired by Corey but resigned in December because he disagreed with her prosecutorial priorities. He said the suit will be filed within the next 30 days.

Corey and lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Corey referred Reuters to Kruidbos’ termination letter, previously made public, in which Corey’s office accused him of hacking confidential information from state computers.

Hacking? He was doing his job. Corey fired him for it the day before the trial began, and withheld the evidence he had “hacked” from the defense. That’s conspiratorial and criminal behavior. According to Alan Dershowitz, she also filed a false affidavit with the court to get second degree murder charges against George Zimmeman.

Angela Corey is the second coming of Mike Nifong. Nifong launched an insane politically and racially-motivated persecution of innocent young men in the Duke lacrosse case. He ended up getting himself disgraced and disbarred. Hopefully Corey ends up with a similar fate. Maybe she’ll even complain that her dog ate her law license.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
I wonder what the evolution of thuggish behavior was that led to the current state of bad, arrogant behavior by public officials? It seems to have been influenced by popular culture, including the glamorizing of Vito Corleone and the Tony Soprano, and this sophomoric "Chicago Rules" nonsense by these ganster wannabes in the White House. But it seems quite prevalent. And this is the same bunch that demands "civility" from the rest of us.

One aspect is the arrested development of the former campus radicals who now infest the higher levels of both government and NGOs. They never stopped being the nasty rule-braking sons and daughters of priviledge that they were in the 60's. They have passed on this brutish behavior to new generations of officialdom.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (9)
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Look what she did to me...I've decided it is time for my side of this story to come out! She keeps blocking my retrial, meanwhile I have been in prison 13 years. It is all about being elected.

coreyparker-murder-trial.blogspot.com.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
These thugs (Corey and Bernie) should not only be disbarred, but also criminally prosecuted themselves. THEY are why people have little faith in our justice system anymore.....Sharpton, Jackson, et al should be prosecuted alongside them. But, Corey will probably be promoted up into the DOJ....Holder needs crooks like her.

Remember BENGHAZI!
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Everyone has worked for bosses like this. If a boss hides from the truth, in the private sector, eventually the business fails.
If the public sector, these sort of bosses make mega messes, then move on to another job.
Please, Gov Scott, move Angela to something she can't screw up, like make her a PR hack, or put her in charge of a do-nothing department. You need to protext the citizens of Florida from her.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"[In] the public sector, these sort of bosses make mega messes, then move on to another job."

Very true! I have personal experience with that in non-profit organizations and a government agency. At a state historical society where I worked, a radical lesbian leftist was brought in as a bigshot administrator. While our budget was being cut, she was laying off good people and creating new, high-paying administrative jobs for her cronies. She also implemented extremely Politically Correct staff policies and museum displays and programs, which turned off more of the public, therefore losing more revenue. But hey, it was all in pursuit of her great causes. Apparently the trustees finally wised up, and she left, spreading her destruction at some other historical society.

Non-profits and government agencies are rife with this sort of behavior, and in many cases there are not boards of trustees who will get rid of the crazies.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder what the evolution of thuggish behavior was that led to the current state of bad, arrogant behavior by public officials? It seems to have been influenced by popular culture, including the glamorizing of Vito Corleone and the Tony Soprano, and this sophomoric "Chicago Rules" nonsense by these ganster wannabes in the White House. But it seems quite prevalent. And this is the same bunch that demands "civility" from the rest of us.

One aspect is the arrested development of the former campus radicals who now infest the higher levels of both government and NGOs. They never stopped being the nasty rule-braking sons and daughters of priviledge that they were in the 60's. They have passed on this brutish behavior to new generations of officialdom.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
OK, let's clarify what a Whistleblower is. I don't really know the specifics of Florida's whistleblower law or even if it has a specific one, but where they exist they all have some things in common. You can't claim whistleblower protection as a defense against you own bad act. You must have attempted to have the policy or action changed through your chain of command or by contacting some designated person in the government. If you haven't attempted to inform your employer that you think a bad act is occuring, you're just a leaker, not a legally protected whistleblower. You're on shaky ground if you in some fashion purloined the information you're basing your whistleblowing act on. There are all sorts of permutations of that that are too complex for this writing but generally, any information a government has is considered public information unless it has some specific and explicit provision making it confidential. There've been lots of good fights over whether something stamped confidential or classified should really be confidential or classified, but the bottom line is that it isn't up to the individual employee to make that determination. It gets interesting when the employee objects to supervision that the information shouldn't be confidential and supervision refuses to make it public. If the employee after making that objection releases the information to the public he may be entitled to legal whistleblower protection, but he'd damned well better be right that the information never should have been made confidential.

As I understand it this guy contacted the defense on his own and told them the prosecution was withholding evidence. I don't know if he attempted to inform his chain of command that he believed the information was being improperly withheld. The defense then called him to testify, I assume using a subpoena, maybe a subpoena duce tecum. Now, if the defense got said subpoena from a judge, and I assume they did; that's how you usually get subpoenas, he has a court order to reveal this information, so that's his protection against the hacking charges and such. I assume that it was his job to do or cause to be done the inventory of the contents of the cell phone, so he's protected on that as well. Since it was behind double passwords and much of it had been deleted, it is unlikely anybody in the prosecutor's office other than the IT people could do work like that. I know all I ever wanted to know about stuff like that was the phone number of people who knew about stuff like that.

The only other angle I can see the government using is that often people with the title of director are not merit system employees, so they might take the position that he serves at the pleasure and has no protection against wrongful discharge. I don't see an honest judge buying that. The rule with serve at the pleasure employees is "any reason, no reason, but not an illegal reason." Most courts also impose an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in any employment relationship. So, it depends on the precise actions he took and the words of Florida's law whether he has whistleblower protection, but even without it, he pretty much has a lead pipe cinch case for wrongful discharge. Were the State of Florida my client, I'd advise them to cut the Prosecutors loose to defend themselves for their ultra vires act and then I settle separately with the complainant for a release and convenant - and I'd do it real quickly and quietly.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Except what does an employee do when the bad act he has discovered is that of his own superiors? That pretty much cuts off the "chain of command" approach.

In this case, he was in charge of the function that investigated Martin's phone files. He became aware that, by withholding possibly exculpatory evidence from the defense, his superiors were violating long established law in a highly charged political case. Given that these same superiors had had rocky relationships with employees in the past, he did the only thing he could think of to protect himself by retaining outside counsel.

Not only did the prosecutors still wait five months to finally turn over files to the defense, but they did it with little time for them to adequately analyze them, locate and depose potentially dozens of new witnesses, Mr Kruidbos also discovered that apparently the prosecution had deleted 2/3 of the files before turning them over.

In the face of such utter disregard for the law by those charged with enforcing it, Kruidbos did the right thing to go outside the chain of command structure and get a lawyer. I hope that he wins big bucks from these felons, but that they also face revocation of their licenses to practice law and are themselves tried on criminal charges, in front of some judge other than their BFF Nelson.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
And also, a correction to the article posted:

They did not fire him on the day the trial started, they fired him on the day the trial ended, just before jury instructions. This prevented the issue of the relevance of the phone files becoming an extremely hot issue before the trial ended, one that Nelson could not just dismiss out of hand as she did. If these files were so irrelevant, why would the state not only avoid turning over until there was no time for the defense to use them, but also delete most of them, if they weren't worried that they were actually very exculpatory and would totally undermine what little evidence that they had?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Something I don't understand: Was he subpoenaed to testify at the pre-trial hearing? Did he have a choice? Or did he volunteer to provide this information on his own?

Whatever the case, it doesn't sound legal to fire somebody for testifying in court, regardless of what kind of information you provided. He was an officer of the state doing state business. That's not "whistleblowing," that's doing your job.

If he had gone to the New York Times with the information, that might have been "whistleblowing" - and a firing offense IF he leaked PII.

I don't understand how anything found on Trayvon's cell phone could be classified as PII, or even confidential. They're just pissed because it went against the state's assertion's about Trayvon.

I hope he wins his case. I also hope it's the first of many cases filed against the prosecutors, Florida, and hopefully the U.S. Department of Justice.



39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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