EFF Fighting For Whistleblower's Privacy Rights, Following Sham Lawsuit
from the 4th-amendment,-where-are-you? dept
The whistleblower, Charles Rehberg, uncovered systematic mismanagement of funds at a Georgia public hospital. He alerted local politicians and others to the issue through a series of faxes. A local prosecutor in Dougherty County, Ken Hodges, conspired with the hospital and used a sham grand jury subpoena to obtain Mr. Rehberg's personal email communications. The prosecutor then provided that information to private investigators for the hospital and indicted Mr. Rehberg for a burglary and assault that never actually occurred. All the criminal charges against Mr. Rehberg were eventually dismissed. Hodges is currently running for Attorney General of Georgia in the Democratic primary.Scary stuff. And it gets worse, too, as apparently the court gave "immunity to county prosecutors and their investigators for manipulating and fabricating "evidence" and defaming Mr. Rehberg as a felon in comments to the press."
Mr. Rehberg filed a civil suit against the prosecutors and their investigator for their misconduct, but the appeals court erroneously ruled that he did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his private email.
This seems like a massive abuse of power to punish a whistleblower, using emails obtained via questionable means. Bad news all around.