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Former jail warden sues Morgan County sheriff

Leon Bradley claims he was fired as retaliation for giving information to a whistleblower website.

Posted: Jul 13, 2018 5:07 PM
Updated: Jul 13, 2018 5:08 PM

The former warden of the Morgan County Jail is suing Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin over his firing in 2016.

Leon Bradley filed the federal lawsuit Friday afternoon against Franklin, two deputies, a sheriff's office employee and the sheriff's office itself, claiming his rights were violated when Franklin fired him for leaking information to a whistleblower website.

The lawsuit states Bradley was concerned about a number of issues at the sheriff's office, including Franklin's use of county jail food funding and inmate labor for what he believed was personal gain. Franklin never attempted to resolve the problems he brought to her attention, so he began giving information to Glenda Lockhart, who ran the Morgan County Whistleblower blog, according to the suit.

Deputy Blake Robinson, who worked with Glenda Lockhart's grandson at the Falkville Fire Department, began to suspect Bradley was the one leaking information and told Franklin and the other people named in the lawsuit, according to Bradley's complaint. They coerced the grandson into illegally installing a device on Lockhart's work computer to gather information.

The info from the surveillance device was used to get a search warrant for Bradley's home, the lawsuit states. 

Read the lawsuit here.

Bradley was eventually charged with a misdemeanor count of government records tampering, according to the lawsuit. He was fired in October 2016 for violating sheriff's office computer policies, misusing county property, disobeying official orders and improperly divulged information.

Bradley claims his right to free speech was violated and his home unlawfully searched. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages from a jury trial, as well as Bradley's reinstatement to his job as jail warden.

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