Judge orders Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. to respond after employees file lawsuits
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A judge ordered Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. on Friday to respond to two lawsuits filed by sheriff’s office employees alleging their rights were violated during internal affairs investigations.
Eighth Circuit Judge Donna Keim is giving the sheriff’s office 30 days to file a response to allegations he refused to hold Compliance Review Hearings for two employees disciplined after Administrative Investigations.
Cpt. Rebecca Butscher and former Sgt. Frank Williams filed separate lawsuits accusing the sheriff’s office of violating the state Officer’s Bill of Rights after two internal investigations were launched against them. The lawsuits allege the sheriff is required by law to hold hearings if issues with the procedure of the investigation are raised.
Butscher and Williams are asking the court to require the sheriff to hold the hearings he denied them. Williams was fired after an investigation found he violated the sheriff’s office’s social media policy. Butscher was suspended and placed on probation for insubordination due to her “tone and body language.”
Once the sheriff’s office files a response, Butscher and Williams’ attorney will be able to file a reply to the sheriff.
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