Jacksonville lawmaker facing potential legal trouble

Rep. Kimberly Daniels tied to 2 separate lawsuits

Kimberly Daniels
Kimberly Daniels

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There are potential legal problems for Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Florida, who is tied to two separate lawsuits, one of which was filed by a former aide and the other filed by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

Karen Riggien, Daniels' former aide, alleges she was asked to perform nongovernmental personal tasks during work and claims she was wrongfully terminated.

Riggien claims she was assigned duties outside of her job description and when she voiced concerns about doing personal tasks, she said Daniels retaliated. She claims Daniels' boyfriend, Rev. Gary Johnson, also assigned her personal duties to complete, even though he was not employed by the state.

Riggien claims she was eventually terminated and is suing for in excess of $15,000 for loss of wages and emotional suffering.

Daniels is also implicated in a second lawsuit filed by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. The state claims an anti-violence program Daniels advocated for called Peace Hub didn't follow through on its promise and the program, according to the suit, is run by Johnson.

The state claims it paid Johnson's company, SCLC Worldwide, nearly $1 million to run a youth program targeting gun violence in Duval, Broward and Miami Dade counties. The suit claims SCLC Worldwide didn't have the state-required insurance to complete the program, so the state requested its money back.

Lawyers allege Johnson had already spent $65,000 on unjustified expenses. The Department of Juvenile Justice voided its contract as a result and the case is still open.

The program Daniels was advocating for was aimed at helping at-risk youth, ages 8 to 17 in high crime and high murder rate areas. News4Jax has requested comment from Daniels, Riggien and Johnson.

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