Judge to rule on injunction in lawsuit against Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A hearing was held on Monday as the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office faces three lawsuits regarding the treatment of employees.
A hearing was held at 1 p.m. regarding three lawsuits brought by employees of the sheriff’s office. Cpt. Rebecca Butscher, Sgt. Kevin Davis, and former Sgt. Frank Williams were found in violation of the sheriff’s office policy during internal affairs investigations. The employees argue the way the matters were handled violated Florida’s Officer’s Bill of Rights.
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They requested the court approve a Writ of Mandamus requiring the sheriff to hold a compliance review hearing about the matters.
“It is unparalleled and unprecedented that the burden is on the officers to prove that they didn’t violate a policy rather than strictly complying with the rights of officers and by clear and convincing evidence demonstrating same,” said Bobi J. Frank, the plaintiff’s attorney.
Butscher is a 30-year veteran of the sheriff’s office. During an investigation into accusations she was “insubordinate” to a higher officer, Butscher claims she was not able to present her side of the story. She was placed on a two-day suspension due to her “tone and body language.”
Williams was fired after he violated the sheriff’s office’s social media policy by posting criticism of the agency’s promotion decisions.
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Davis is accusing Watson of workplace discrimination and claims he made hires based on race. He was placed on administrative leave.
correction: Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. was not required to appear in court on Monday. He was represented by his attorney.
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