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Former FDLE Official Accuses Gov. Desantis Of Retaliation

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, speaks during a campaign event, June 2, 2023, in Lexington, S.C. (AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr., File)

A former top official for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has filed a whistleblower lawsuit accusing the agency and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of retaliating against him. Shane Desguin alleges that he was forced to resign from his position as chief of staff after refusing to comply with directives he believed violated the law or were inappropriate.

The 16-page lawsuit filed in Leon County Circuit Court outlines Desguin's claims of misconduct by FDLE officials and Governor DeSantis. These allegations include violating the privacy rights of migrants, withholding public records, and calling for the arrests of neo-Nazi protesters in a manner that Desguin argued would infringe on their First Amendment rights.

FDLE responded to the lawsuit by stating that an internal investigation revealed acts of gross misconduct by Desguin and another employee, Patricia Carpenter. The agency cited workplace chaos, safety concerns, sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, and unprofessional behavior as reasons for their association with Desguin and Carpenter ending.

Desguin alleges that he was ordered to gather information on migrants arriving in Jacksonville, Florida, from the US southern border, a task he believed was against the law. He also raised concerns about potential false imprisonment or kidnapping when DeSantis' staff discussed relocating migrants outside of Florida.

Desguin claims he was forced to resign for refusing to comply with questionable directives.
Shane Desguin accuses FDLE and Governor DeSantis of retaliation in a whistleblower lawsuit.
Allegations include violating migrants' privacy rights and infringing on First Amendment rights of neo-Nazi protesters.

Furthermore, Desguin claims that DeSantis' team pressured FDLE to arrest neo-Nazi protesters under a new law, despite objections from employees who argued it violated First Amendment rights. The lawsuit also mentions disagreements over the release of the governor's travel records, leading to Desguin being placed on administrative leave.

Desguin's attorney denies the allegations of misconduct outlined in an FDLE Internal Affairs report and asserts that Desguin was forced to retire. The attorney claims that the report was completed after Desguin had already left the agency and that the State Attorney's Office declined to bring charges against him.

Desguin is seeking a jury trial, compensatory damages, legal fees, and job reinstatement. His attorney also mentioned that Carpenter, another former employee, is expected to file her own lawsuit soon.

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