Ben Kruidbos, the former IT director for Florida State Attorney Angela Corey’s office, plans to file a whistleblower lawsuit against George Zimmerman’s prosecutors, according to Reuters.
Kruidbos was terminated following his testimony at a pretrial hearing that prosecutors failed to turn over potentially embarrassing evidence pulled from Trayvon 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. White, a former prosecutor who was hired by Corey but resigned in December because he disagreed with her prosecutorial priorities, said the suit will be filed in the next 30 days.
The action will put pressure on Corey, who already faces criticism from some legal experts for the unsuccessful prosecution of the case, which led to the acquittal of Zimmerman for shooting Martin, an unarmed black teenager. Zimmerman's defense has also called for sanctions against Corey and her prosecution team.
Corey and lead prosecutor, Bernie de la Rionda, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Corey referred Reuters to Kruidbos' termination letter.
The letter, which was written by Cheryl Peek, the managing director of the State Attorney’s Office, included the following: “Your egregious lack of regard for the sensitive nature of the information handled by this office is completely abhorrent. You have proven to be completely untrustworthy. Because of your deliberate, wilful and unscrupulous actions, you can never again be trusted to step foot in this office.”
In January, Kruidbos used computer software technology to extract photographs and text messages from the source file in Martin’s cell phone. Kruidbos was able to recover more information than the Florida Department of Law Enforcement obtained previously.
Kruidbos said he became concerned that the lead prosecutor might not have turned over Kruidbos’ report to defense attorneys. Kruidbos asked White in April for legal advice and described some contents of his report such as a photo of an black hand holding a gun, a photo of a plant resembling marijuana and a text message referring to a gun transaction.
Before Kruidbos’ name surfaced in the Martin trial proceedings, he received a pay raise for “meritorious performance,” according to a document dated May 16 in his personnel file.