More than 14 months after the saga of Fausto Lopez, the City of Miami police officer who was stopped by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper while speeding 120 mph down the Florida Turnpike to an off-duty job, is still causing embarrassment for the department.
Now the trooper, Donna "Jane" Watts, has filed a 69-page lawsuit claiming that she was repeatedly harassed after 88 officers from various departments accessed her personal information.
The incident painted law enforcement in general in a bad light, and an FHP trooper's car was found smeared in feces and another FHP trooper was pulled over by a Miami officer in an apparent botched case of sloppy revenge. According to the lawsuit however, the fallout went much farther than that.
Watts' lawsuit claims that 88 officers from 25 different divisions, including her own, all apparently motivated by anger that she broke some sort of cop code, accessed her personal information illegally.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Watts received several phone calls. Some were pranks, others came off as threatening. She regularly received pizzas she didn't order at her private home. She claims several calls stopped or idled in front of her home
Watts claims she now lived in a state of fear, even going so far as to take extra caution while opening her mailbox out of the fear something dangerous might be inside. Her superiors don't think she'll ever be able to return to duty on the road, and if she ever got into a situation where she needed backup she does not think she would receive it.
The fear, she claims, has forced her to live like a hermit and she's considering moving.
Watts is seeking more than $1 million in damages. Though more than 25 agencies are named, she has already settled with a few more out of court.
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