Corey vs Kruidbos - Counterclaim Filing by Angela Corey

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


Yesterday a Florida Judge ruled that Jacksonville State Attorney Angela Corey's 2-count counterclaim was ridiculous and dismissed with prejudice (an Order will probably take a month to be issued and filed).However, you'll note paragraphs 10 & 11 of Corey's initial allegation of facts.Corey's position is not only convoluted, but it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of our Constitution. The DEFENDANT'S (Zimmerman's) rights in a criminal proceedings are superior to any arguable right that she has to shield negative information that might harm her case.










    Pursuant to Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(c) and (d), 1.170(a) and this Courts Order entered

    September 11, 2014 (Courts Order of Dismissal), Defendant Angela B. Corey, in her Official

    Capacity as State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida (State Attorney),

    specifically amends her counterclaim which was set forth in Defendants Second Amended

    Answer,1 stating as follows:


    Pursuant to Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.170(a), Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff (State Attorney)

    asserts her counterclaim against Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant (Plaintiff) and alleges as follows:


    1. This Court has jurisdiction over this counterclaim pursuant to Fla. Stat. 26.012

    and venue is proper pursuant to Fla. Stat. 47.011.

    1 State Attorney understands, pursuant to the Courts Order of Dismissal, that State Attorneys Second AmendedAnswer and Affirmative and other Defenses to Count II in the Amended Complaint remains intact with theexception of the striking of Exhibit A and references to Exhibit A therein.

    Filing # 18729674 Electronically Filed 09/26/2014 04:05:38 PM


    2. Plaintiff was an employee of State Attorney and therefore an agent of State

    Attorney during all relevant times.

    3. Plaintiff was State Attorneys Information Technology Director charged with

    certain responsibilities including, but not limited to, maintaining optimal efficiencies of hardware

    and system software; analyzing and implementing system software and hardware upgrades;

    troubleshooting network, communications and computer hardware problems; planning for the

    development, procurement and installation of automated systems to support the operational

    requirements for the legal/administrative needs; maintaining the security and integrity of the

    communications and computer networks; and managing and directing other employees with

    similar responsibilities.

    4. In March of 2013, it was discovered by Cheryl Peek and Bernie de la Rionda,

    Managing Directors of the SAO, that Plaintiff: (a) improperly returned a cell phone (belonging to

    a former SAO employee) to factory settings and re-imaged that former employees computer and

    deleted files on the computer without preserving the information and data prior to reimaging it;

    and (b) allowed several SAO computer profiles belonging to other employees to be improperly

    accessed, including information stored on their personal drives copied without permission (and

    Plaintiff was one of only two people who had access to the subject drives and he had been

    charged with securing and ensuring the retention of SAO documents and files.)

    5. Subsequent to said discovery, Plaintiff was disciplined and counseled, and given a

    de facto demotion for, among other things, failing to protect confidential State Attorney

    information. The disciplinary action included removing his access to employees personal

    drives; requiring that he seek prior approval for any requests that were made to the IT department

  • 3for any budgeting matters or purchases; and removing his supervisory authority over eight

    employees. Plaintiff was specifically reminded during the counseling that he must document (in

    writing) whenever computer equipment was moved or reassigned; that he must preserve a copy

    of all future terminated employees computer hard drives prior to wiping them clean for

    subsequent use by different and/or new employees; and that under no circumstances was he to

    delete information from a computer without first properly saving the contents of same.

    6. Subsequent to the de facto demotion, Plaintiff intentionally disclosed without

    authorization his employers confidential work product and/or other sensitive information from a

    pending high profile murder case (Trayvon Martin case) to a former employee of State

    Attorney, whom Plaintiff knew had recently resigned unhappy with the State Attorney, and who

    had agreed to act as Plaintiffs attorney.

    7. In that regard, focusing on his own interests and without ever consulting with

    State Attorney, Plaintiff conveyed to this attorney (Plaintiffs attorney) that he allegedly had a

    concern about whether a report Plaintiff had created for State Attorney concerning Trayvon

    Martins cell phone had been disclosed to George Zimmermans lawyers, and if the report had

    not been disclosed, whether such non-disclosure could cause Plaintiff criminal exposure.

    Plaintiff then told Plaintiffs attorney about at least three photographs and/or text messages (out

    of thousands of pages of data) on Trayvon Martins cell phone that could be seen as negatively

    impacting State Attorneys arguments in the Trayvon Martin case.

    8. Plaintiffs attorney advised Plaintiff that he was not sure about whether Plaintiff

    could face criminal liability if State Attorney did not disclose his report. However, Plaintiffs

    Attorney alleged that he believed he himself had a legal obligation to call Mr. Zimmermans

    lawyer to see if State Attorney had disclosed Plaintiffs report.

  • 49. Again, without ever consulting about his concerns with State Attorney, his

    employer to whom he owed a duty of loyalty, Plaintiff authorized Plaintiffs attorney to call the

    defense attorney in the Trayvon Martin case for the purpose of inquiring whether his report had

    been disclosed and, apparently, to discuss the three photographs and text messages.

    10. Plaintiffs report was preliminary and produced data that was not found by the

    expert used by State Attorney, who had previously extracted data from Trayvon Martins cell

    phone. As such, his report was work product and State Attorney had no obligation to provide

    Plaintiffs report to Mr. Zimmermans lawyer. State Attorney was working with its expert to

    understand why Plaintiff (who was not an expert) was able to generate data from Mr. Martins

    cell phone that the expert could not, with the goal of generating a complete report by the expert

    and producing same to Mr. Zimmermans lawyer. Additionally, the entire bin file of Trayvon

    Martins cell phone had previously been produced to Mr. Zimmermans lawyer, along with

    thousands of pages of data from same. To the extent those records contain pictures and/or text

    messages that may arguably have had a negative impact on State Attorneys arguments or may

    have been inadmissible in evidence, such mental impressions about that data were confidential

    and no one at State Attorneys office was authorized to highlight such evidence for the defense.

    11. Even if the information Plaintiff disclosed to the defense during the Trayvon

    Martin case did not rise to the level of confidential work product, it was still information

    belonging to and considered confidential by State Attorney, and Plaintiff should not have

    disclosed it or authorized it to be disclosed to a third party, especially to the defense attorneys in

    an active prosecution being conducted by State Attorney. This third party, the defense counsel in

    the Trayvon Martin case, had no interest superior to that of Plaintiffs employer/principal (State


  • 512. In accord with Plaintiffs authorization, Plaintiffs attorney telephoned the defense

    attorneys in the Trayvon Martin case and claimed that State Attorney had information in its

    possession that it was improperly withholding from the defense (although Plaintiff admitted

    under oath in a later proceeding that he had no knowledge of whether State Attorney did in fact

    disclose the report.) Plaintiffs attorney asked a defense attorney in Trayvon Martin as to

    whether he had received certain photographs and text messages described by Plaintiff, and

    Plaintiffs attorney then described the photographs to the defense attorney, and he also described

    information about the substance and timing of internal communications by Plaintiff to a key

    prosecutor for State Attorney in the Trayvon Martin case.

    13. Plaintiff himself had a conversation with a defense attorney in the Trayvon Martin

    case and explained the process he engaged in for State Attorney of downloading information.

    Plaintiff did not inform anyone at State Attorney that he was having a conversation with this

    defense counsel, and he described to the defense attorney the whole process he engaged in on

    behalf of the State Attorney.

    14. The defense attorneys in the Trayvon Martin case were adverse to State

    Attorneythat is, defendant Zimmermans lawyers interests were different from and contrary to

    the interests of State Attorney. Plaintiff had no privilege to discuss his work on behalf of State

    Attorney with Mr. Zimmermans lawyers.

    15. The defense attorneys in the Trayvon Martin case subsequently filed a pre-trial

    motion seeking sanctions against State Attorney for such alleged non-disclosure. Plaintiffs

    attorney testified at the hearing on such motion on or around May 28, 2013 and identified

    Plaintiff as the source of the confidential information, asserting that Plaintiff could testify about

    the information in State Attorneys possession.

  • 616. Upon learning of Plaintiffs unauthorized disclosure, on or around May 28, 2013,

    State Attorney placed Plaintiff on an immediate paid leave of absence.

    17. Several days later, on June 6, 2013, Plaintiffs attorney again testified at a

    subsequent hearing, in addition to Plaintiff. The court determined that the defense was not

    deprived of any admissible evidence and proceeded to trial; however, the court deferred ruling

    on the defenses request for sanctions.

    18. During a subsequent investigation, State Attorney concluded that Plaintiff had

    again improperly deleted any existing data and files, this time from a laptop that was assigned to

    him, and he then restored the laptop to a fresh installation of an Apple operating system.

    Plaintiff deleted files and restored the laptop to factory settings on May 24, 2013--one business

    day before Plaintiffs attorney testified and disclosed Plaintiffs identity.

    19. Plaintiff had previously been specifically directed not to delete files from any

    State Attorney computer. Plaintiffs conduct was in direct contradiction to the prior instruction

    and counseling given to him. Additionally, because Plaintiff deleted files from public agency

    computers, Plaintiffs conduct put State Attorney in jeopardy of a possible violation of Floridas

    Public Records Act. Further, in his job managing information technology for State Attorney, he

    knew that his conduct could be in violation of such law, and in fact violated State Attorney

    policy and the prior instructions given to him by State Attorney.

    20. Because Plaintiff disclosed confidential work product relating to the Trayvon

    Martin case (or at a minimum, information belonging to State Attorney that he was not

    authorized to disclose to the defense attorney) to a former employee of State Attorney who

    Plaintiff testified that he knew was unhappy with State Attorney, and then authorized this former

    employee to disclose the work product or confidential information to the defense attorney in the

  • 7Trayvon Martin case (for Plaintiffs attorneys own reasons) without first discussing his

    purported concerns with State Attorney, and subsequently deleted data on his laptop, State

    Attorney terminated his employment on July 11, 2013.

    21. State Attorney was subject to unwarranted negative criticism as a result of

    Plaintiffs conduct. State Attorney incurred fees and costs for having to defend itself at a hearing

    on a motion for sanctions. State Attorney is still subject to sanctions as the court in the Trayvon

    Martin case has yet to dismiss the defense attorneys motion.

    22. State Attorney paid Plaintiff a salary during all relevant times in exchange for

    Plaintiff performing his duties in the best interest of State Attorney. State Attorney did not

    receive the full value of services in exchange for the compensation she paid to Plaintiff during

    the period of time Plaintiff was engaging in the conduct described herein.


    23. State Attorney incorporates here her allegations in paragraphs 1-22 of State

    Attorneys counterclaim.

    24. At all relevant times, as an employee and agent of State Attorney, Plaintiff owed a

    duty of loyalty to his employer/principal (State Attorney.)

    25. Plaintiff breached his duty of loyalty to State Attorney when he knowingly

    disclosed confidential work product (or at a minimum, information belonging to State Attorney

    that he was not authorized to disclose to the defense attorney) relating to the Trayvon Martin

    case to a former employee he knew was unhappy with State Attorney, authorized such former

    employee to disclose the work product to the defense attorney in the Trayvon Martin case

    without first discussing his purported concerns with State Attorney (and did so in a context

    where that defense attorney had no interest superior to State Attorneys in knowing about the

  • 8information) and subsequently deleted data on State Attorney computers in violation of a specific

    State Attorney directive to him.

    26. State Attorney has suffered actual damages as a result of Plaintiffs conduct.

    Specifically, State Attorney had to spend resources defending itself at two pre-trial hearings in

    central Florida, including but not limited to the costs associated with travel. Additionally, State

    Attorney did not receive the full value of services in exchange for the compensation she paid to

    Plaintiff during the period of time Plaintiff was engaging in the misconduct described herein, and

    such wages paid to Plaintiff, including when he was appropriately on administrative leave, are

    losses to State Attorney. Finally, State Attorney is entitled to nominal damages, even if no actual

    damages can be proven. In that regard, Plaintiffs unauthorized disclosure subjected State

    Attorney to public criticism in a high profile murder case for having been falsely and publicly

    accused of withholding material documents from the defense in the Trayvon Martin case. State

    Attorney also had to dedicate a substantial amount of time in the Trayvon Martin case to the

    knowingly false claims made by Plaintiff and Plaintiffs attorney.

    WHEREFORE State Attorney hereby demands judgment in its favor and actual and/or

    nominal damages against Plaintiff and any other relief this Court deems just and proper.


    27. State Attorney incorporates here her allegations in paragraphs 1-22 of State

    Attorneys counterclaim.

    28. Plaintiff owed a duty of loyalty to State Attorney while employed with State


    29. While employed with State Attorney, Plaintiff communicated with Plaintiffs

    attorney and the two of them devised a plan to disclose State Attorneys confidential work

  • 9product (or at a minimum, information belonging to State Attorney that Plaintiff was not

    authorized to disclose) to Mr. Z...