State Attorney Angela Corey fired her office’s information technology director Friday after he testified last month about being concerned prosecutors did not turn over information to George Zimmerman’s defense team in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
On the same day attorneys finished their closing arguments in that nationally watched trial, a state attorney investigator went to Ben Kruidbos’ home about 7:30 a.m. to hand-deliver a letter stating Kruidbos “can never again be trusted to step foot in this office.”
The letter contended Kruibos did a poor job overseeing the information technology department, violated public records law for retaining documents, and noted he was questioned in March when the office was trying to determine who had leaked personnel information obtained through a computer breach.
In an interview Friday, Kruidbos denied the allegations in the letter, which was written by Cheryl Peek, the managing director of the State Attorney’s Office.
He said he had acted in good faith about “genuine concerns.” He said he had been proud to work at the State Attorney’s Office and feared the letter would cripple his chances at finding another job to support his family, including a 4-month-old son.
“I don’t have any regrets,” he said, “but I am terrified about the future and what that will end up being.”
His attorney Wesley White — who resigned from the State Attorney’s Office in December and is a critic of Corey — said the firing was aimed at sending a message to office employees “that if they feel like there is wrongdoing,” they should not disclose it or seek legal guidance from a private attorney.
“If they do speak to an attorney, then they are dead,” he said. “The State Attorney’s Office will do whatever is necessary to not only terminate them, but destroy their reputations in the process.”
Jackelyn Barnard, spokeswoman for Corey and the State Attorney’s Office, did not return phone calls or emails for comment.
This is why I have to move to a very red state. I don’t want to deal with a bunch of leftists who don’t know right from wrong. I don’t want to be prosecuted by people who have no respect for the law, and are just looking to push a political agenda.