CHICAGO (CBS) — A battle over a fake Twitter account has cost the city of Peoria $125,000.
That is the cost of a tentative legal settlement in favor of Jon Daniel, who was the target of a police raid over an account he created that depicted the mayor as a boozy fan of strippers, drugs and sex.READ MORE: Families Fight To Keep Memorial Trees Offered Through Chicago Park District After Being Told Of Golf Course Plans
Daniel created the Twitter account in March 2014, writing as Mayor Jim Ardis and focusing on just about anything other than city politics. Initially, the account did not clearly state it was a parody, but Daniel added that caveat about three days later, according to his lawsuit.
“Im (sic) thinking it’s tequila and stripper night,” according to one Tweet.
The lesson here is that parody is not an illegal act.
After discovering Daniel was behind the account, police raided his home and arrested him for allegedly violating an Illinois law the regulates false impersonation of a public official.
Daniel sued, claiming the account was obviously a joke, that he was wrongfully arrested and his constitutional privacy and free speech rights were violated.
In April, 2014, police executed a search warrant and raided Daniel’s home and seized his computer and other electronic devices. Another warrant was issued to search Daniel’s cell phone records, according to his lawsuit.READ MORE: Mother Who Heard Shots, Death Of Adam Toledo Shares What She Heard, Neighborhood Insight
Rather than take the issue to court, Peoria’s attorneys decided to cut their losses and settle with Daniel for $125,000, which includes attorney’s fees.
The ACLU represented Daniel.
As part of the deal, Peoria doesn’t have to admit any wrongdoing. It does call on the city to issue a memo to city workers that states parody does not violate Illinois law.
The agreement is subject to the approval of the City Council.
In an email sent to the Associated Press, Daniel said he was satisfied with the deal.
“I always thought that the Twitter account was a joke for me and for my friends,” Daniel said. “I never dreamed that it would result in my home being raided and me being placed under arrest.”MORE NEWS: Protesters Pack Logan Square Over Police Shooting Of Adam Toledo