We represented Peoria resident Jon Daniel, the subject at the center of what came to be known as “Twittergate” in that community. In March 2014, Mr. Daniel began a Twitter account — @Peoriamayor — that presented a series of satirical tweets using informal language, slang and even expletives. Daniel noted that the “joke of the account was to have my fictional mayor saying things that (Peoria’s) Mayor Jim Ardis would not say.”
The Mayor of Peoria was not amused. He and members of City government, including police officers, worked to close the account, learned his identity and punished his speech with a criminal investigation, culminating in a search of Mr. Daniel’s home, the seizure of his property and placing Mr. Daniel under arrest.
No charges were filed against Mr. Daniel.
The ACLU of Illinois challenged the closure of the account, the exposure of his identity, the investigation and arrest of Mr. Daniel as a violation of his First and Fourth Amendment rights.
In March of 2015, the court denied the defendants’ motion for judgment, opened discovery and set the case for trial on April 25, 2016. However, in September of 2015, a settlement was reached in the case. Read more.