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

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, FOURTH


JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR
DUVAL COUNTY, FLORIDA
CASE NO.: 16-2013-CA-007407
BERNARD ALBERT KRUIDBOS,
Plaintiff,
v.
ANGELA B. COREY, in her official capacity as
STATE ATTORNEY FOR THE FOURTH
JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA,
Defendant.
/
DEFENDANT ANGELA B. COREYS, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS STATE
ATTORNEY FOR THE FOURTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA, AMENDED
COUNTERCLAIM
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:
AMENDED COUNTER CLAIM
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:
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
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 Amended
Answer and Affirmative and other Defenses to Count II in the Amended Complaint remains intact with the
exception of the striking of Exhibit A and references to Exhibit A therein.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND
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

for 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.

9.

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
Attorney).

12.

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.

16.

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

Trayvon 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.
COUNT ONE
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

information) 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.
COUNT TWO
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

Attorney.
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

product (or at a minimum, information belonging to State Attorney that Plaintiff was not
authorized to disclose) to Mr. Zimmermans attorney, which disclosure was in violation of
Plaintiffs duty of loyalty owed to State Attorney, and therefore a tortuous act.

These

communications were part of an agreement and conspiracy between Plaintiff and his attorney to
disclose the confidential information to Mr. Zimmermans lawyers without ever discussing the
alleged concerns of Plaintiff or Plaintiffs attorney.
30.

During such communications and in furtherance of the conspiracy, Plaintiff made

an agreement with Plaintiffs attorney to disclose information in breach of Plaintiffs duty of


loyalty when he and Plaintiffs attorney agreed to disclose State Attorneys confidential work
product (or at a minimum, information belonging to State Attorney that he was not authorized to
disclose to Mr. Zimmermans attorney) to the defense in the Trayvon Martin case. Plaintiffs
attorney engaged in an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy by contacting Mr.
Zimmermans defense attorneys in the Trayvon Martin case and disclosing confidential
information of State Attorney. Plaintiff himself then engaged in an overt act in furtherance of
the conspiracy by also disclosing confidential information to defense counsel.
31.

Plaintiff and his attorney thus acted with the purpose of accomplishing together an

unlawful purpose, which was specifically the breach of Plaintiffs duty of loyalty to State
Attorney.
32.

These overt acts were done in furtherance of Plaintiffs conspiracy against State

Attorney.
33.

As a result of Plaintiffs agreement with his attorney to violate Plaintiffs duty of

loyalty and disclose confidential work product (or at a minimum, information belonging to State

Attorney that he was not authorized to disclose to the defense attorney), State Attorney has been
damaged.
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 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,
including the period of time he was on a paid administrative leave of absence. 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
significantly 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.
Respectfully submitted this 26th day of September, 2014.
By:/s Robert G. Riegel, Jr.
Robert G. Riegel, Jr.
Florida Bar No. 325759
Robert.riegel@bipc.com
BUCHANAN INGERSOLL & ROONEY PC |
FOWLER WHITE BOGGS
50 N. Laura Street, Suite 2800
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Telephone: (904) 446-2645
Facsimile: (904) 598-3131
Counsel for Defendant
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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been
electronically filed with the Clerk of the Court on this 26th day of September, 2014, by using the
Florida Courts E-Filing Portal system which will send a notice of electronic filing to:
Wesley F. White, Esquire
Post Office Box 17015
Fernandina Beach, FL 32035
Tel. 904.335.8335
Email. wfwhite@gmail.com

By:/s Robert G. Riegel, Jr.


Robert G. Riegel, Jr.
Florida Bar No. 325759
Robert.riegel@bipc.com
BUCHANAN INGERSOLL & ROONEY PC |
FOWLER WHITE BOGGS
50 N. Laura Street, Suite 2800
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Telephone: (904) 446-2645
Facsimile: (904) 598-3131

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