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Dr. David Bruce Allen seeks $551 million in lawsuit against Jackson County, Sheriff Mike Byrd

• April M. Havens, Gulf Live

Former heart surgeon Dr. David Bruce Allen -- who in 2009 was accused of growing marijuana at his Jackson County home, spent 14 months in jail and later had his charges dismissed -- has filed a lawsuit alleging federal civil, constitutional and human rights violations.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Gulfport, names the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Mike Byrd and his department, the former Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County and other unknown defendants.

The suit claims that Byrd targeted Allen and his property after Allen showed support for Byrd's political opponent.

"Prior to the first arrest, the sheriff ... removed a political campaign poster of his opponent which Dr. Allen placed upon his property, and took it to Dr. Allen and handed it to him, which Dr. Allen took as a threat," the suit said.

Asked about the lawsuit Thursday, Byrd said, "We're ready. I'd like to comment further, but I can't because it's pending litigation."

Allen is asking for a jury trial, $51 million in compensatory damages and $500 million in punitive damages.


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