A blogger who wrote about Kathryn Knott – the greenbacks County female convicted of collaborating in a 2014 attack on a gay couple in center city – has sued Knott, Knott‘s father, the dollars County district attorney, and others. Kathleen…
A blogger who wrote about Kathryn Knott – the greenbacks County female convicted of collaborating in a 2014 attack on a gay couple in center city – has sued Knott, Knott‘s father, the dollars County district attorney, and others.
Kathleen O’Donnell, sixty-one, of Norristown, says in her lawsuit filed Friday in federal court, that her free-speech rights were violated and that she was fired from her job the day bucks detectives went to her place of work asking about her on-line writings.
Knott, 25, of Southampton, is serving a 5-to-10-month jail sentence at the Riverside Correctional Facility in Holmesburg after she become convicted in December of easy attack and related charges for her role in the Sep 11, 2014, assault at 16th and Chancellor Streets.
Two others, Kevin Harrigan, 27, and Philip Williams, 25, each of greenbacks County, pleaded responsible and were sentenced to probation.
O’Donnell’s blog – “Knotty is a Tramp,” what she known as a “parody account,” was created on Sept. 26, 2014.
The suit says she changed into “expressing her opinions and outrage” approximately the assault on the 2 homosexual men whilst there has been severe media scrutiny of Knott, who before the attack had expressed antigay sentiments on social media.
O’Donnell alleges that Knott learned of the blog and that her father, Karl Knott, directed her to whinge to the bucks District lawyer’s office.
Karl Knott changed into then chief of Chalfont Borough police in bucks County and now is captain on the primary dollars nearby Police branch.
O’Donnell says that during August 2015, greenbacks County district legal professional detectives went to her office at Walker Parking consultants in Wayne.
The detectives, Martin McDonough and Mark Zielinski, first met privately with O’Donnell’s boss, James Pudleiner, and informed him that O’Donnell had posted “harassing remarks” about Kathryn Knott, occasionally from a pc at her work, the lawsuit says.
It says that O’Donnell was introduced before the detectives and that she acknowledged working the “Knotty is a Tramp” account, commenting on new objects approximately Knott.
The lawsuit contends the detectives “threatened” O’Donnell, announcing that if she endured writing under the username “Knotty is a Tramp” that “she would be arrested for ‘fraudulently impersonating Ms. Knott.’ “
O’Donnell informed the detectives she might not publish on the account again.
The lawsuit says that O’Donnell turned into fired from her job that day “as an instantaneous result of the visit” by means of the detectives.
Her lawsuit, which also names bucks County as a defendant, seeks greater than $150,000 in compensatory damages and extra than $5 million in punitive damages. It contends she suffered financial losses, inclusive of her salary, as well as emotional ache and damage to her reputation.
Efforts to reach Karl Knott on Saturday had been now not a success.
The in shape additionally names as defendants greenbacks County District lawyer David Heckler and the two detectives, contending Heckler directed the detectives to confront O’Donnell at work “in retaliation” for her writings approximately Kathryn Knott.
Heckler, reached Saturday, said he hadn’t yet seen the lawsuit. He said he doesn’t direct his office’s detectives to investigate a count number except it’s something more critical, like a murder. He stated his detectives had been worried about the blog as it “became perceived as probably threatening and doubtlessly inciting others” to do something threatening.
“We’d no longer had been searching into the problem except it involved what we believed to be potentially incriminating behavior,” he said.
Ultimately, he said, his office didn’t report any prices against O’Donnell because she had agreed to stop writing the blog.
Heckler additionally said the fact that Karl Knott become a police chief in dollars had nothing to do with the detectives’ investigation. The district legal professional said he “slightly” is aware of Karl Knott and wasn’t contacted by way of him.
“We genuinely failed to bully up on her [O’Donnell] due to the fact leader Knott is a police officer and we have been looking out for a buddy,” Heckler said.
The suit become filed with the aid of legal professionals Sean Ruppert and Martell Harris of Kraemer, Manes & pals in Pittsburgh. Requested to see examples of O’Donnell’s blog writings, Ruppert stated Saturday that he couldn’t launch them at this point in the litigation.