Corey vs Kruidbos - Counterclaim Filing by Angela Corey
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.
1IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, FOURTHJUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FORDUVAL COUNTY, FLORIDACASE NO.: 16-2013-CA-007407BERNARD ALBERT KRUIDBOS,Plaintiff,v.ANGELA B. COREY, in her official capacity asSTATE ATTORNEY FOR THE FOURTHJUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA,Defendant./DEFENDANT ANGELA B. COREYS, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS STATEATTORNEY FOR THE FOURTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA, AMENDEDCOUNTERCLAIMPursuant to Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(c) and (d), 1.170(a) and this Courts Order enteredSeptember 11, 2014 (Courts Order of Dismissal), Defendant Angela B. Corey, in her OfficialCapacity as State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida (State Attorney),specifically amends her counterclaim which was set forth in Defendants Second AmendedAnswer,1 stating as follows:AMENDED COUNTER CLAIMPursuant 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:JURISDICTION AND VENUE1. This Court has jurisdiction over this counterclaim pursuant to Fla. Stat. 26.012and 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 PM2FACTUAL BACKGROUND2. Plaintiff was an employee of State Attorney and therefore an agent of StateAttorney during all relevant times.3. Plaintiff was State Attorneys Information Technology Director charged withcertain responsibilities including, but not limited to, maintaining optimal efficiencies of hardwareand system software; analyzing and implementing system software and hardware upgrades;troubleshooting network, communications and computer hardware problems; planning for thedevelopment, procurement and installation of automated systems to support the operationalrequirements for the legal/administrative needs; maintaining the security and integrity of thecommunications and computer networks; and managing and directing other employees withsimilar 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 toa former SAO employee) to factory settings and re-imaged that former employees computer anddeleted 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 improperlyaccessed, including information stored on their personal drives copied without permission (andPlaintiff was one of only two people who had access to the subject drives and he had beencharged with securing and ensuring the retention of SAO documents and files.)5. Subsequent to said discovery, Plaintiff was disciplined and counseled, and given ade facto demotion for, among other things, failing to protect confidential State Attorneyinformation. The disciplinary action included removing his access to employees personaldrives; requiring that he seek prior approval for any requests that were made to the IT department3for any budgeting matters or purchases; and removing his supervisory authority over eightemployees. Plaintiff was specifically reminded during the counseling that he must document (inwriting) whenever computer equipment was moved or reassigned; that he must preserve a copyof all future terminated employees computer hard drives prior to wiping them clean forsubsequent use by different and/or new employees; and that under no circumstances was he todelete information from a computer without first properly saving the contents of same.6. Subsequent to the de facto demotion, Plaintiff intentionally disclosed withoutauthorization his employers confidential work product and/or other sensitive information from apending high profile murder case (Trayvon Martin case) to a former employee of StateAttorney, whom Plaintiff knew had recently resigned unhappy with the State Attorney, and whohad agreed to act as Plaintiffs attorney.7. In that regard, focusing on his own interests and without ever consulting withState Attorney, Plaintiff conveyed to this attorney (Plaintiffs attorney) that he allegedly had aconcern about whether a report Plaintiff had created for State Attorney concerning TrayvonMartins cell phone had been disclosed to George Zimmermans lawyers, and if the report hadnot 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 (outof thousands of pages of data) on Trayvon Martins cell phone that could be seen as negativelyimpacting State Attorneys arguments in the Trayvon Martin case.8. Plaintiffs attorney advised Plaintiff that he was not sure about whether Plaintiffcould face criminal liability if State Attorney did not disclose his report. However, PlaintiffsAttorney alleged that he believed he himself had a legal obligation to call Mr. Zimmermanslawyer to see if State Attorney had disclosed Plaintiffs report.49. Again, without ever consulting about his concerns with State Attorney, hisemployer to whom he owed a duty of loyalty, Plaintiff authorized Plaintiffs attorney to call thedefense attorney in the Trayvon Martin case for the purpose of inquiring whether his report hadbeen disclosed and, apparently, to discuss the three photographs and text messages.10. Plaintiffs report was preliminary and produced data that was not found by theexpert used by State Attorney, who had previously extracted data from Trayvon Martins cellphone. As such, his report was work product and State Attorney had no obligation to providePlaintiffs report to Mr. Zimmermans lawyer. State Attorney was working with its expert tounderstand why Plaintiff (who was not an expert) was able to generate data from Mr. Martinscell phone that the expert could not, with the goal of generating a complete report by the expertand producing same to Mr. Zimmermans lawyer. Additionally, the entire bin file of TrayvonMartins cell phone had previously been produced to Mr. Zimmermans lawyer, along withthousands of pages of data from same. To the extent those records contain pictures and/or textmessages that may arguably have had a negative impact on State Attorneys arguments or mayhave been inadmissible in evidence, such mental impressions about that data were confidentialand 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 TrayvonMartin case did not rise to the level of confidential work product, it was still informationbelonging to and considered confidential by State Attorney, and Plaintiff should not havedisclosed it or authorized it to be disclosed to a third party, especially to the defense attorneys inan active prosecution being conducted by State Attorney. This third party, the defense counsel inthe Trayvon Martin case, had no interest superior to that of Plaintiffs employer/principal (StateAttorney).512. In accord with Plaintiffs authorization, Plaintiffs attorney telephoned the defenseattorneys in the Trayvon Martin case and claimed that State Attorney had information in itspossession that it was improperly withholding from the defense (although Plaintiff admittedunder oath in a later proceeding that he had no knowledge of whether State Attorney did in factdisclose the report.) Plaintiffs attorney asked a defense attorney in Trayvon Martin as towhether he had received certain photographs and text messages described by Plaintiff, andPlaintiffs attorney then described the photographs to the defense attorney, and he also describedinformation about the substance and timing of internal communications by Plaintiff to a keyprosecutor for State Attorney in the Trayvon Martin case.13. Plaintiff himself had a conversation with a defense attorney in the Trayvon Martincase 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 thisdefense counsel, and he described to the defense attorney the whole process he engaged in onbehalf of the State Attorney.14. The defense attorneys in the Trayvon Martin case were adverse to StateAttorneythat is, defendant Zimmermans lawyers interests were different from and contrary tothe interests of State Attorney. Plaintiff had no privilege to discuss his work on behalf of StateAttorney with Mr. Zimmermans lawyers.15. The defense attorneys in the Trayvon Martin case subsequently filed a pre-trialmotion seeking sanctions against State Attorney for such alleged non-disclosure. Plaintiffsattorney testified at the hearing on such motion on or around May 28, 2013 and identifiedPlaintiff as the source of the confidential information, asserting that Plaintiff could testify aboutthe 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 asubsequent hearing, in addition to Plaintiff. The court determined that the defense was notdeprived of any admissible evidence and proceeded to trial; however, the court deferred rulingon the defenses request for sanctions.18. During a subsequent investigation, State Attorney concluded that Plaintiff hadagain improperly deleted any existing data and files, this time from a laptop that was assigned tohim, 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 businessday before Plaintiffs attorney testified and disclosed Plaintiffs identity.19. Plaintiff had previously been specifically directed not to delete files from anyState Attorney computer. Plaintiffs conduct was in direct contradiction to the prior instructionand counseling given to him. Additionally, because Plaintiff deleted files from public agencycomputers, Plaintiffs conduct put State Attorney in jeopardy of a possible violation of FloridasPublic Records Act. Further, in his job managing information technology for State Attorney, heknew that his conduct could be in violation of such law, and in fact violated State Attorneypolicy and the prior instructions given to him by State Attorney.20. Because Plaintiff disclosed confidential work product relating to the TrayvonMartin case (or at a minimum, information belonging to State Attorney that he was notauthorized to disclose to the defense attorney) to a former employee of State Attorney whoPlaintiff testified that he knew was unhappy with State Attorney, and then authorized this formeremployee to disclose the work product or confidential information to the defense attorney in the7Trayvon Martin case (for Plaintiffs attorneys own reasons) without first discussing hispurported concerns with State Attorney, and subsequently deleted data on his laptop, StateAttorney terminated his employment on July 11, 2013.21. State Attorney was subject to unwarranted negative criticism as a result ofPlaintiffs conduct. State Attorney incurred fees and costs for having to defend itself at a hearingon a motion for sanctions. State Attorney is still subject to sanctions as the court in the TrayvonMartin case has yet to dismiss the defense attorneys motion.22. State Attorney paid Plaintiff a salary during all relevant times in exchange forPlaintiff performing his duties in the best interest of State Attorney. State Attorney did notreceive the full value of services in exchange for the compensation she paid to Plaintiff duringthe period of time Plaintiff was engaging in the conduct described herein.COUNT ONE23. State Attorney incorporates here her allegations in paragraphs 1-22 of StateAttorneys counterclaim.24. At all relevant times, as an employee and agent of State Attorney, Plaintiff owed aduty of loyalty to his employer/principal (State Attorney.)25. Plaintiff breached his duty of loyalty to State Attorney when he knowinglydisclosed confidential work product (or at a minimum, information belonging to State Attorneythat he was not authorized to disclose to the defense attorney) relating to the Trayvon Martincase to a former employee he knew was unhappy with State Attorney, authorized such formeremployee to disclose the work product to the defense attorney in the Trayvon Martin casewithout first discussing his purported concerns with State Attorney (and did so in a contextwhere that defense attorney had no interest superior to State Attorneys in knowing about the8information) and subsequently deleted data on State Attorney computers in violation of a specificState 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 incentral Florida, including but not limited to the costs associated with travel. Additionally, StateAttorney did not receive the full value of services in exchange for the compensation she paid toPlaintiff during the period of time Plaintiff was engaging in the misconduct described herein, andsuch wages paid to Plaintiff, including when he was appropriately on administrative leave, arelosses to State Attorney. Finally, State Attorney is entitled to nominal damages, even if no actualdamages can be proven. In that regard, Plaintiffs unauthorized disclosure subjected StateAttorney to public criticism in a high profile murder case for having been falsely and publiclyaccused of withholding material documents from the defense in the Trayvon Martin case. StateAttorney also had to dedicate a substantial amount of time in the Trayvon Martin case to theknowingly false claims made by Plaintiff and Plaintiffs attorney.WHEREFORE State Attorney hereby demands judgment in its favor and actual and/ornominal damages against Plaintiff and any other relief this Court deems just and proper.COUNT TWO27. State Attorney incorporates here her allegations in paragraphs 1-22 of StateAttorneys counterclaim.28. Plaintiff owed a duty of loyalty to State Attorney while employed with StateAttorney.29. While employed with State Attorney, Plaintiff communicated with Plaintiffsattorney and the two of them devised a plan to disclose State Attorneys confidential work9product (or at a minimum, information belonging to State Attorney that Plaintiff was notauthorized to disclose) to Mr. Zimmermans attorney, which disclosure was in violation ofPlaintiffs duty of loyalty owed to State Attorney, and therefore a tortuous act. Thesecommunications were part of an agreement and conspiracy between Plaintiff and his attorney todisclose the confidential information to Mr. Zimmermans lawyers without ever discussing thealleged concerns of Plaintiff or Plaintiffs attorney.30. During such communications and in furtherance of the conspiracy, Plaintiff madean agreement with Plaintiffs attorney to disclose information in breach of Plaintiffs duty ofloyalty when he and Plaintiffs attorney agreed to disclose State Attorneys confidential workproduct (or at a minimum, information belonging to State Attorney that he was not authorized todisclose to Mr. Zimmermans attorney) to the defense in the Trayvon Martin case. Plaintiffsattorney engaged in an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy by contacting Mr.Zimmermans defense attorneys in the Trayvon Martin case and disclosing confidentialinformation of State Attorney. Plaintiff himself then engaged in an overt act in furtherance ofthe conspiracy by also disclosing confidential information to defense counsel.31. Plaintiff and his attorney thus acted with the purpose of accomplishing together anunlawful purpose, which was specifically the breach of Plaintiffs duty of loyalty to StateAttorney.32. These overt acts were done in furtherance of Plaintiffs conspiracy against StateAttorney.33. As a result of Plaintiffs agreement with his attorney to violate Plaintiffs duty ofloyalty and disclose confidential work product (or at a minimum, information belonging to State10Attorney that he was not authorized to disclose to the defense attorney), State Attorney has beendamaged.34. 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 incentral Florida, including but not limited to the costs associated with travel. Additionally, StateAttorney did not receive the full value of services in exchange for the compensation she paid toPlaintiff during the period of time Plaintiff was engaging in the misconduct described herein,including the period of time he was on a paid administrative leave of absence. Finally, StateAttorney is entitled to nominal damages, even if no actual damages can be proven. In thatregard, Plaintiffs unauthorized disclosure subjected State Attorney to public criticism in asignificantly high profile murder case for having been falsely and publicly accused ofwithholding material documents from the defense in the Trayvon Martin case. State Attorneyalso had to dedicate a substantial amount of time in the Trayvon Martin case to the knowinglyfalse claims made by Plaintiff and Plaintiffs attorney.WHEREFORE, State Attorney hereby demands judgment in its favor and actual and/ornominal damages against Plaintiff and any other relief this Court deems just and proper.Respectfully submitted this 26th day of September, 2014.By:/s Robert G. Riegel, Jr.Robert G. Riegel, Jr.Florida Bar No. 325759Robert.firstname.lastname@example.orgBUCHANAN INGERSOLL & ROONEY PC |FOWLER WHITE BOGGS50 N. Laura Street, Suite 2800Jacksonville, FL 32202Telephone: (904) 446-2645Facsimile: (904) 598-3131Counsel for Defendant11CERTIFICATE OF SERVICEI HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has beenelectronically filed with the Clerk of the Court on this 26th day of September, 2014, by using theFlorida Courts E-Filing Portal system which will send a notice of electronic filing to:Wesley F. White, EsquirePost Office Box 17015Fernandina Beach, FL 32035Tel. 904.335.8335Email. email@example.comBy:/s Robert G. Riegel, Jr.Robert G. Riegel, Jr.Florida Bar No. 325759Robert.firstname.lastname@example.orgBUCHANAN INGERSOLL & ROONEY PC |FOWLER WHITE BOGGS50 N. Laura Street, Suite 2800Jacksonville, FL 32202Telephone: (904) 446-2645Facsimile: (904) 598-3131