BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A Brevard County man filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Wayne Ivey, saying he was wrongly featured on the sheriff’s eye-catching Facebook segment “Wheel of Fugitive,” costing him his job.
David A. Gay said Ivey’s show featured his face and name four times between Jan. 26, 2021 and Feb. 23 of that year, along with nine others supposedly wanted by county deputies.
However, Gay said deputies knew his whereabouts when all four episodes aired. For the first three, he was even sitting in the Brevard County Jail.
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Court documents state Gay was first arrested in 2018 for charges that ended in a withholding of adjudication, which sentences a person to probation without convicting them.
Gay said he was arrested again in late 2020 during a family dispute, which resulted in a probation violation for his first case and a third arrest on January 25, 2021.
The next day, the lawsuit said Ivey featured Gay on “Wheel of Fugitive” for the first time, even though Gay was incarcerated. Gay said his picture was shown two more times before he was released.
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Court records show the second set of charges, and therefore the probation violation, were ultimately dropped on Feb. 22, 2021, and Gay was released from custody. The day after, though, Ivey featured Gay on “Wheel of Fugitive” for a fourth and final time, the lawsuit states.
Gay claimed he was hired for a job after his release from jail, but his new boss called him after recognizing Gay’s picture on the “Wheel of Fugitive” episodes to tell him he was fired. The lawsuit, filed against both Ivey and the Sheriff’s Office, asks for damages in excess of $50,000.
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Gay’s attorney said “Wheel of Fugitive” featured people who were in jail or whose warrants were otherwise resolved 175 times between Feb. 2020 and Feb. 2021, including five during the Feb. 23, 2021 episode when Gay was shown.
A message left for the Brevard County Sheriff Office’s spokesman was not immediately returned.
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