Lawsuit against Orange Co. Sheriff's Office comes at cost to taxpayers

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A lawsuit involving an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy is costing taxpayers money.

Jeffrey Frazier said an Orange County deputy unlawfully accessed his personal information and he wanted the deputy to pay.

Sgt. Timothy Fekany admitted he was in the wrong, but the Sheriff’s Office refused to settle, and now they’re involved in a costly legal battle.

“We don’t know why he did it and what he did with that information once he obtained it,” said Frazier.

Court documents show there’s no question Fekany violated the law and Frazier’s privacy rights.

A letter from Sheriff Jerry Demings acknowledges the wrongdoing.

“Timothy Fekany was found guilty. He admitted to his guilt,” Frazier said.

An internal investigation sustained DAVID violations against Fekany, resulting in a one-day suspension.

Frazier said he offered to settle for $2,500 and sent a letter to the sheriff making it clear he wanted to resolve the matter without retaining a lawyer.

But the sheriff chose to join the suit, placing taxpayers on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Demings tried to get the suit dismissed twice, but a federal judge denied the request.

A spokesperson for Demings released a statement saying, “The Sheriff’s Office allows these matters to be resolved in the courtroom where all the information can be presented and a ruling or agreement reached.”