State Attorney Corey fires key whistleblower in George Zimmerman case

The man's name is Ben Kruidbos, and before being fired, he had a good record. There's much more to the story. Photo: Associated Press

FLORIDA, July 14, 2013 — Jacksonville-based Florida State Attorney Angela Corey has fired one of her office’s employees after he testified in court about documents not being given to George Zimmerman’s defense team

Corey charged Zimmerman for second-degree murder in Trayvon Martin’s fatal shooting.

SEE RELATED: Justice has been served for George Zimmerman; Angela Corey questioned

Last night, Zimmerman was acquitted of any wrongdoing.

David Bauerlein of the Jacksonville Times-Union writes that “(o)n 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.”

During a Friday interview, Kruidbos strongly denied these allegations. He believes that he did his job well, a claim which is supported by a merit-based pay raise which the IT tech received.

SEE RELATED: Meet the real George Zimmerman: Part black, Democratic family man

Now, he must worry about how his family will be supported.

Bauerlien notes that Kruidbos’s attorney Wesley White, a Corey critic who once worked under her, “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,” White stated. “The State Attorney’s Office will do whatever is necessary to not only terminate them, but destroy their reputations in the process.”

The matter becomes even more peculiar when the person who wrote Kruidbos’s termination letter is considered.

SEE RELATED: Legally, George Zimmerman should be found not guilty

Cheryl Peek is the managing director of Corey’s office. As Sundance of The Conservative Tree House, a popular blog which has carefully covered the Martin shooting’s aftermath, notes, Peek “was forced out of the State’s Attorneys office 20 years ago for her role in corruption tactics similar to what has been seen in the Zimmerman Trial. In 1990 she engaged in ‘profiling,’ illegal state manipulation, of a Grand Jury Pool.” 

An official letter detailing this event provides much-needed clarity about the matter. The case document can also be read in full.

It should be mentioned that TCTH is planning a wide-ranging investigation about the actions taken by Corey and other prosecutors in the Zimmerman case. 

On Friday, Sundance announced that “after verdict [TCTH] will be able to go to places we have reserved out of respect and prudence. The Defense team obviously has taken the position of staying down range from the media until the verdict is announced. We will not do, or say, anything to undercut that position.”

He later elaborated that “(w)e will be following up on over two dozen major case constructs, which we have specific research back story already assembled, to find out answers to the fraud itself. Indeed the entire prosecution team will know us even better in the coming months as we file Sunshine Law records requests to reveal their scheme. But that is for another day.”

Corey has yet to make a statement about Peek’s history in the wake of Kruidbos losing his job. She has also not addressed TCTH’s pending investigation.

Far-left? Far-right? Get realRead more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto 


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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