Fired state's attorney's employee considering legal action

Victims advocate says she was fired over voicemail

ORLANDO, Fla. – One of the six victims advocates fired by State Attorney Aramis Ayala last month said she was terminated by voicemail Jan. 20 in connection with alleged drug use by office employees at two separate parties.

“I’m losing everything that I worked for because someone else used drugs,” Casey Perkins told News 6.

The voice message, which was News 6 has obtained, was delivered by Chief Assistant State Attorney Deborah Barra.

"The state attorney has reviewed the investigation … and she’s decided that your employment is terminated,” Barra said in the message.

The investigation targeted two gatherings at which drugs were allegedly used by employees.

Perkins, 25, told News 6 that she did not attend the bachelorette party in New Orleans last September, where employees allegedly used cocaine and marijuana.

The party was for 27-year-old victim advocate Shannon Solo. Documents show she later told a new boyfriend that she did a lot of cocaine that weekend in September. He is an Orange County Sheriff's deputy and drug agent, who passed word up the chain of command.

Investigators reported that Solo's fiancé dumped her when she returned home from the party — in part because of drug use.

Perkins said not only wasn’t she there, she was never invited.

“I really didn’t have much knowledge at all other than 'Hey, this happened,'" she said.

There was a gathering in Kissimmee last December where, according to Perkins, four people including her boyfriend attended.

She told News 6 a woman in her late 20s came in with what she thought was marijuana.

Perkins said she had never seen the woman before.

As she was leaving, Perkins said, she saw the woman trying to make a bong out of a Gatorade bottle.

Orlando attorney Travis Hollifield said Perkins' knowledge of the New Orleans party was just hearsay.

In a text to News 6 Monday Hollifield said “we are considering bringing legal action for wrongful termination”

The state attorney’s office said neither Barra or Ayala would comment any further on the terminations.

There was a separate incident that resulted in the resignation or termination of Danielle Wall, who had served as assistant state attorney for two years.

State attorney spokesperson Eryka Washington all six employees were terminated.

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About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.