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BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A third Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy, Sergeant Kevin Davis, has filed a lawsuit asking the Court for a Writ of Mandamus forcing Sheriff Clovis Watson, Jr., to convene a Compliance Review Hearing and reopen an Administrative Investigation into an alleged disciplinary issue. A Writ of Mandamus is used to command public officials to “perform ministerial duties that they have a clear legal duty to perform.”
Davis has worked for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ASO) for 21 years and has served on multiple “Special Teams,” including the SWAT Team. He has been suspended with pay since January 23 for allegedly violating ASO’s social media policy. His case is similar to that of Sergeant Williams: Both were first served with a complaint stating that the complainant was Jake Rush (ASO General Counsel) and then served with the same complaint with a different complainant, Kelvin Jenkins. The lawsuit, like the other two, asserts that there have been numerous violations of the Officers’ Bill of Rights during the investigation.
As in the other two cases, Bobi Frank argues, “An injunction will serve the public interest as the detriment to the community by allowing the Sheriff, a constitutional Officer, to engage in this type of conduct can’t be overstated. If Defendant is repeatedly violating its own sworn Law Enforcement Officers’ rights and the plain requirements of the law as a matter of procedure, the public’s faith in the ability of its Sheriff’s office could diminish beyond repair.” The complaint also states that ASO is at “dangerously low staffing levels” and that even more deputies can be expected to leave the agency if the violations are allowed to stand.
Lawsuits clear first hurdle
In each of the separate lawsuits filed by Captain Rebecca Butscher and Sergeant William “Frank” Williams against the Sheriff, Judge Donna Keim has issued an order stating that the deputies have “demonstrated a preliminary basis for relief.” The order gives the Sheriff 30 days to file a response stating why he believes the relief requested by the deputies should not be granted. The deputies’ lawyer, Bobi Frank, will then have 15 days to respond, if desired.