ALBANY, Ga. -- An Albany accountant who was part of the duo who sent out the infamous Phoebe Factoids is asking the 11th Circuit of Appeals for a hearing to determine whether his fourth amendment rights were violated by then District Attorney Ken Hodges.
In a motion filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, and Charles Rehberg attorney Bryan Vroon, Rehberg alleges that Hodges violated his constitutional rights by using what they describe as a "sham" subpoena to collect Rehberg's personal e-mails.
The Appellate court has ruled that Rehberg did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy to his e-mail -- a decision EFF Civil Liberties Director Jennifer Granick called erroneous.
"Mr. Rehberg did the right thing and blew the whistle on financial mismanagement," Granick wrote in a release to the media. "In response, he was persecuted by local authorities and his constitutional rights were violated. It's well established that individuals have a right to privacy in the content of their communications, electronic or otherwise. We're asking the court to look at this again and follow the law."
EFF and Vroon are also challenging the court's decision that Hodges, who is now running for Georgia Attorney General, had immunity from civil action because he was acting as a prosecutor when he convened a grand jury to issue the subpoenas and indict Rehberg and Dr. John Bagnato.
"The Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors are not entitled to immunity when they fabricate evidence during the course of an investigation, knowingly defame an innocent man as a felon to the press, or collude with private parties to retaliate against a critic, as they did here," Vroon was quoted in a press release sent to the Herald late Thursday.
"This case involves a gross misuse of power which damaged an innocent man who never committed a burglary or assault on anyone," it states.
Hodges has maintained his innocence saying that he was merely performing within the scope of his authority as district attorney when the investigation was undertaken and that he punted the case off to district attorney from outside the district to prosecute.