A federal judge has ordered former Dekalb County CEO Vernon Jones to pay $45,652 in damages and legal fees after he blocked a man on Facebook.
In March 2020, Vernon blocked his constituent, Tomas Miko, on his social media page after the two had a spicy exchange about the proposed immigration legislation
In March 2020, Tomas Miko took to Vernon’s Facebook page and called him out about the proposed immigration legislation he sponsored when he was a state representative.
After a spicy exchange between the two men, Vernon Jones blocked Miko from his Facebook page and deleted his dissenting comments.
A few months later, Miko Tomas filed a federal lawsuit against Jones claiming he deleted his comments in an effort to silence his criticism.
In a decision issued last year, U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg noted that when public figures block constituents from their social media profiles to prevent them from expressing contrary views, such acts constitute “viewpoint discrimination.”
On Tuesday (January 17), Judge Grimberg found that Miko’s claims were sufficient to prove liability and issued a judgment against Vernon Jones and awarded him $8,000.
Grimberg also ordered Jones to pay $37,652 in costs and legal fees to attorneys Gerry Weber, Craig Goodmark, and Amith Gupta who served as Miko’s counsel
It didn’t help that Jones never responded to the lawsuit or tried to defend it.