Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd sued by atheist activist citing “pervasive religiosity”

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 6:49 PM

click to enlarge 06-27-grady-judd-sued-by-atheistjpg

The Ledger reports that the legal coordinator of the group Atheists of Florida, EllenBeth Wachs, is suing Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, alleging that her own arrest in March on charges of falsely posing as a licensed Florida attorney was in fact Judd’s way of punishing her for her vocal opposition to his religiously-charged brand of punishment. (Last December, Judd had the basketball hoops removed from county jails so that they could be donated to area churches. “You don’t come to jail to have a good time,” Judd explained to reporters.) Wachs’ lawsuit documentation is produced in full alongside The Ledger’s story. She has enlisted as legal support none other than Altamonte Springs attorney Lawrence Walters, who could arguably be described as Grady Judd’s chief professional adversary, given over a decade and a half of various lawsuits between Walters’ office and that of the Polk County State Attorney over Judd's policies. Judd doesn’t just talk about his beliefs – over a span of nearly two decades, he was able to force out every single adult-oriented business from Polk County, a feat which he says is unmatched in any other county of a similar population in the United States. Lawyers like Walters tell the Weekly of heavy-handed intimidation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, mostly through the threat of racketeering charges based on the state’s RICO Act. The charges are laid out in further detail in our Feb. 24 cover story, “Church and State,” which profiled the Sheriff and his crusade against pornography. Judd is an unabashed Baptist, and does not hesitate to impart his moral judgments publicly. “There are people in our society that are evil,” Judd told the Weekly in January. “Our job is to protect the good people from the evil people.”

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation