FDLE faces lawsuit over O'Connell shooting investigation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is facing a lawsuit stemming from the 2010 shooting death of Michelle O'Connell.

Scott O'Connell, Michelle's brother, is suing the FDLE and the lead FDLE investigator in his sister's case, Rusty Rodgers.

The lawsuit claims that he and the O'Connell family were "brainwashed" into believing she was murdered by her boyfriend, St. Johns County Sheriff's Office deputy Jeremy Banks, in 2010.

RELATED: Family seeks to change 'suicide' determination on woman's death certificate

According to the lawsuit filed in St. Johns County Civil Court, Scott says Rodgers withheld evidence and encouraged the O'Connell family to believe Michelle was murdered.

Scott claims Rodgers' actions directly led to his firing from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

RELATED: Michelle O'Connell story draws national attention

Multiple investigations by the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office and the Medical Examiner have classified Michelle's death as a suicide.

The lawsuit alleges that Rodgers intentionally inflicted emotional distress and acted with reckless disregard for Scott's state of mind and that the FDLE was negligent in its supervision of Rodgers.

The lawsuit is seeking damages of $15,000.


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