DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - A federal judge says a blogger can sue an Alabama sheriff for allegedly trying to silence her criticism of the officer.
The Decatur Daily reports that U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala ruled that Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin is not immune from a lawsuit filed by online critic Glenda Lockhart.
Lockhart has written a blog critical of Franklin. The lawsuit says Franklin and some of her deputies bribed Lockhart's grandson to collect information from Lockhart's office and computers. Authorities later searched her business and seized computers.
Lockhart sued Franklin and the sheriff had argued that she was immune from the claims under state law.
The judge disagreed, saying Franklin's legal immunity doesn't protect her from claims of bribery, intimidation and other misconduct meant to silence a private citizen.
Information from: The Decatur Daily, http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/index.shtml