Former employee sues Osceola clerk of court

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. —

Osceola County’s controversial clerk of court is under attack again.

This time, he’s being sued by his former legal adviser and public information officer.

The lawsuit accuses Armando Ramirez of conducting public business in private, nepotism and hiding public records.

Adam Alvarez, Ramirez’s former attorney, filed the lawsuit this week, accusing Ramirez of directing him and other employees to communicate though Ramirez’s private email and private cellphone, to prevent the communications from being public record.

Alvarez accused the court clerk’s deputy, Jennifer Soto, of hiding a former employee’s criminal past and of hiring her sister.

Ramirez said none of his employees are related to him.

He called Alvarez a disgruntled employee and said Alvarez was fired in March “for cause.”

Alvarez was fifth senior employee at the clerk’s office who either quit or was fired since Ramirez took office.

Ramirez was cleared earlier this year after a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation.

The state attorney suggested Ramirez get additional training about public records law.

Alvarez is asking for his job back, back pay and lawyer’s fees under the state’s whistleblower act.

His lawyer did not talk to WFTV about the lawsuit.