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Peoria mayor sued over response to Twitter account

Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:27 p.m. CDT

PEORIA — The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Peoria's mayor and police chief alleging they violated free speech rights with a raid on the home of a man who created a parody Twitter account in the mayor's name.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Peoria, seeks monetary damages on behalf of 29-year-old Jonathan Daniel.

Daniel set up the account in March. It included Mayor Jim Ardis' photo, and in crude language, the tweets talked about sex and drugs.

The lawsuit called the account a "satiric form of expression protected by the First Amendment" and said no one could have reasonably thought the tweets actually came from the mayor.

Daniel was arrested April 15, but prosecutors declined to charge him.

The mayor's office didn't immediately comment.

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