Mayor Sent Cops to Bust Twitter Parody
J Thoendell stashed this in Apps
With the involvement of the ACLU the situation took on a much more serious tone, and the city lawyered up, eventually racking up $100,000 in attorney’s fees, according to Peoria Public Radio. When the city announced last week it would settle with Daniel and the ACLU, the lawyer representing Peoria insisted he could have won the case, but at an estimated cost of $500,000.
So, on Tuesday night, the City Council gathered to approve a $125,000 settlement with Daniel, who will get to keep whatever remains after paying his own lawyers.
The real cost is much higher than the $225,000 in combined fees and settlement money. Consider the chain of events that led to Tuesday’s payout:
• Dozens of emails and hours of distracted time on the part of at least five city employees over the course of several days.
• At least two detectives and high-ranking officials within the police department, including the now-resigned police chief, working untold hours to find an applicable statute for Daniel’s crime, write the search warrant applications, execute them, obtain evidence and examine it, then submit charges to the state’s attorney.
• Then there were the three judges who reviewed and approved those warrants, as well as the employees of the state’s attorney’s office who made the final decision not to charge Daniel because, as most casual legal observers can tell you, satire is not a crime.
Beyond the monetary price heaped onto the city’s taxpayers, Ardis’s insistence that Daniel broke the law when he created a Twitter account that turned the mayor into a foul-mouthed, drug-addled, and hooker-loving buffoon, there is the cost to Peoria’s reputation, which now sits somewhere between laughingstock and a prairie police-state.
Stashed in: Twitter!