Peoria Settles Lawsuit Over Parody Twitter Account
Jon Daniel’s home was raided last spring after he created the Twitter account that spoofed Peoria’s Mayor and included raunchy messages before it was suspended.
American Civil Liberties Union attorney Karen Sheley represented Daniel. She says the settlement compensates Daniel for being arrested and investigated but never charged with a crime.
“And it was all for First Amendment protected speech. You step back and think about that, it’s really shocking.”
Sheley says the case is unusual because it involves a police investigation following parody speech on Twitter. City attorney Jim Sotos says it would have cost far more to fight the lawsuit instead of settling:
“Fiscally it was the only responsible thing to do.”
Sotos says the city was confident that, had the matter gone to court, the city would have won the case.
The settlement also includes a directive to Peoria police officers that state law protects satirical impersonation of public official.
The Peoria City Council still needs to approve the agreement at it's meeting next week.