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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Insurer: Sheriff has no coverage for some claims in blogger lawsuit By Keith Clines Staff Writer

Blogger Comments:  INSURANCE PROVIDER CLAIMS 'IMMUNITY'-- NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR FRANKLIN'S CONDUCT

Of course the insurance provider doesn't want to pay for Franklin's wrong doing in the Lockhart case.  Franklin, Barney Lovelace, Bones Wilson, and Blake Robinson met with their informant at approximately one o'clock in the afternoon in mid September of 2016, in the sheriffs private office to detail, plan, and conspire what documents, data, emails, video, and pictures they needed to enable them to later get a legal warrant to search for evidence.  The group of law enforcement officers, sheriff, and a sworn officer of the court met and conspired to conduct criminal acts.  Of course the insurance company doesn't want to be responsible for the sheriff in her official capacity as sheriff. The insurance company has a very good reason to try and get this case dismissed, to include the Federal Lawsuit involving an inmate that died, and a law suit involving a couple injured because of Franklin's negligence at the wheel of a Morgan County Sheriffs Office vehicle in South Alabama.  Lockhart was also working for an attorney in a Federal Lawsuit against the sheriffs office, a lawsuit that is being handled by the same insurance company for the sheriff office.  The same insurance company that doesn't feel that they should be liable for the conspiracy Franklin and her thugs committed in the sheriffs office, on a regular work day with sheriff's office employees who witnessed Franklin, Lovelace, Bones, and Robinson go behind closed doors with their informant.  Hum! The same insurance company that brought in an attorney who specializes in HIPAA laws to assist them on their Federal Case involving an inmate who died, the case that Lockhart was working on.  Serious claims have been made that distress us in the case involving HIPAA information.  Lockhart can take and pass a polygraph.  Can the sheriff and her thugs?  The inmate involved in this case spent seven years in jail without ever having his day in court.  
The informant who took the HIPAA documents for the sheriff communicated with the Sheriff and her cronies during the break in with a smart phone that captured all communications between the sheriff and her thugs.  The informant collected documents, emails pictures, and videos he made while in the Lockhart's office which Franklin and Blake Robinson approved.  The same information that Franklin and her thugs used to obtain a search warrant after stealing the highly sensitive HIPAA information pertaining to a Federal lawsuit that names Franklin in her capacity as sheriff.  The informant gathered hard copy documents, company confidential information, payroll information and more.  Electronic records of the communications between Franklin and her thugs during the break in, dates of meeting, locations for payments and more were collected on the smart phone and still exist. Had Lockhart not found out about the illegal activity, would the insurer make the same claims?  The insurance provider for the sheriff's office sure knows how to spin the law and their responsibilities.  

At the same time the insurance company is also fighting claims in a lawsuit against Franklin in Bay Minetta, Alabama.  The company claims that Franklin has immunity for the accident because she was working in an official capacity when she caused the accident.  Franklin lied and claimed she was attending a School Resource Officer Training Course when she plowed into a couple on their way to work.  Franklin lied.  We have spoken to multiple attendees of the class that can and will testify that Franklin was not attending that class.

Decatur Daily:  Insurer: Sheriff has no coverage for some claims in blogger lawsuit By Keith Clines Staff Writer



If a blogger's federal lawsuit against Sheriff Ana Franklin and two deputies results in a verdict involving punitive damages or damages for illegal acts, an insurance carrier argued in a federal court motion it should not have to provide coverage.
The motion was filed Tuesday by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama Liability Self-Insurance Fund Inc., which is involved in the defense of Franklin and the others. It said there is no coverage for some of the claims Lockhart has made against Franklin and deputies Blake Robinson and Robert “Bones” Wilson.
The motion to intervene says the law enforcement liability coverage applies only to bodily or personal injury, or property damage caused by legal law enforcement activities.
“Punitive damages are explicitly excluded from coverage under this coverage part, so the defendants are not owed any indemnity from the fund under this coverage part for any award of punitive damages,” Stewart Howard, a Mobile attorney for the association, said in the filing.
The motion said that among issues insurance would not cover are compensatory damages related to illegal acts committed by the defendants or by anyone instructed to commit an illegal act by the defendants, actions taken outside their official scope of duties, or property damage to Lockhart’s property while in the sheriff’s possession.
Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long said he was not aware of the association’s recent motion. Long doesn’t think the county would have to pay any damages from the lawsuit that are not covered by insurance.
“I wouldn’t think so, since we’re not part of the lawsuit,” Long said, adding that he is not a lawyer.
He said insurance coverage applies to officials acting in their official capacities, but not as individuals.
Lockhart’s lawsuit was filed against Franklin, Robinson and Wilson as individuals and in their official capacities.
Morgan County is not named as a defendant. Long said County Attorney David Langston is not participating in the defense of the lawsuit.
The county commissions association provides liability insurance to the county through Meadowbrook Insurance Group, which is defending Franklin and the others in the lawsuit.
Meadowbrook’s attorney, Randall McNeill of Montgomery, does not comment on pending litigation. Howard did not return a phone message Tuesday seeking comment. Brice Johnston, Lockhart’s lawyer from Birmingham, had no comment on the motion.
U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala had not ruled on the motion late Wednesday afternoon.
Stewart’s motion asks Haikala to allow the county commissions group to participate in limited pre-trial discovery to determine which claims are covered by insurance.
It also asks that the association be allowed to submit written questions and verdict forms to the jury to resolve any coverage issues if the jury returns a verdict for Lockhart. The questions would be given to jury members only after a verdict is reached.
Lockhart filed the federal lawsuit Oct. 16 after deputies searched her business, Straightline Drywall and Acoustical in Falkville, and seized several computers and related items. She claims that Franklin is attempting to suppress her First Amendment rights because of the Morgan County Whistleblower internet blog that Lockhart operates.
Lockhart also claims the search warrant was illegally obtained, her company’s computer equipment was damaged, eavesdropping software was wrongfully placed on her computers, that Franklin has slandered her, and that she has suffered mental anguish over the matter.
Franklin has denied all of Lockhart’s claims.
Franklin has said her office is conducting a criminal investigation of Lockhart and Leon Bradley, the Morgan County Jail warden Franklin fired Oct. 13 for alleged computer tampering.
Bradley was fired for improperly releasing and sharing confidential records and information about the Sheriff’s Office with Lockhart, Franklin has said.
No arrests have been made in the Lockhart and Bradley investigation.
keith.clines@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2438. Twitter @DD_KeithClines.

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