Whistle-blower case to be reviewed
The whistle-blower complaint filed by the former information technology director for the State Attorney’s Office will be investigated by the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
Ben Kruidbos filed the complaint in August, saying he was fired from Angela Corey’s office because he testified in the Travyon Martin case that the office had not turned over all discovery materials to George Zimmerman’s defense attorneys.
The complaint said that prior to his testimony, Kruidbos “was a well-regarded employee (and) had recently received a raise. … If it were not for my testimony, I would still be employed.”
Kruidbos also filed suit against Corey in Circuit Court, saying he was unlawfully terminated.
Jackie Barnard, spokeswoman for the office, said Corey could not comment on the issue because it involves pending litigation and is a personnel matter.
The termination letter given to Kruidbos accuses him of unauthorized access of several office computers. Shortly after he was asked about that allegation in March, the letter said, Kruidbos’ duties “were significantly changed.”
Those changes included eight employees being removed from his direct oversight, losing access to individual F-drives and getting prior approval before making requests to the city’s IT department.
The letter also questioned how Kruidbos handled the photos that he testified were not turned over from Martin’s cell phone.
Kruidbos’ attorney, Wes White, said his client is still unemployed and “under a great deal of stress.”
White, who is a former assistant state attorney under Corey, said his client was punished for his testimony.
“Here’s a guy who stood up … and got his legs cut out from under him,” White said.
The commission has received 132 whistle-blower complaints since January 2011. Of those, cause was found in 22 of those cases and no cause was found in 94. Seven cases were withdrawn and nine are still pending, according to commission spokesman Frank Penela.