Woman suing Morgan Co. sheriff under investigation, linked to fired warden

Woman suing Morgan Co. sheriff under investigation, linked to fired warden

MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said that the woman who filed a federal lawsuit against Franklin and three deputies is under investigation in connection with the case involving the former jail warden, Leon Bradley.

Franklin fired Bradley on Oct. 13. The former warden is under investigation for allegedly providing confidential government information to an outside source.

Franklin said Gloria Lockhart is the alleged outside source. Lockhart is suing because investigators seized computers from her business.

On Monday, Franklin said the warden allegedly emailed confidential government documents to Lockhart that she published on her blog.

Investigators executed the search warrant at Straightline Drywall & Acoustical in Falkville on Oct. 5. They had done the same the day before at Bradley's home.

Lockhart runs a blog called "Morgan County Whistleblower"  Franklin said confidential sheriff's office documents that were given to Lockhart by Bradley ended up on that blog.

In the lawsuit, Lockhart claims the sheriff violated her right to free speech and that her business couldn't function without the computers, which have been returned. The sheriff said the computers were taken because they potentially held evidence, not because Lockhart's blog is often critical of the sheriff.

"This lawsuit is part of what people start filing when they feel that they're in jeopardy of having a criminal situation on them. Nothing was done in retaliation for a blog. I've never responded to that," Franklin said. "The only time there was involvement with the Morgan County Sheriff's Office and Glena Lockhart or her blog was after there was enough evidence that she pushed the point of criminal charges pending."

WAFF 48 News reached out to Lockhart at her business and were referred to her attorney, Bryce Johnston, who declined to comment.

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