Herald-Mail Media.com by Bianca Padro Ocasio Miami Herald (TNS)
November, 30, 2020
MIAMI — The Miami Herald’s “Perversion of Justice” investigative series, which detailed Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking crimes and years of deferred justice for dozens of abuse victims, won the 2020 First Amendment Foundation’s Lucy Morgan Award for Open Government Reporting.
Since the project was first published in November 2018, Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown and visual journalist Emily Michot have gone on to receive multiple awards at the national and local levels for their criminal justice reporting, as they continue to chronicle the repercussions of a deal between Epstein’s legal team and former U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.
The deal was found to be improper by a federal judge because victims were not consulted.
The journalists will receive the award at the virtual event “Exposing Epstein’s Evils: An Evening with Julie K. Brown and Emily Michot,” on Wednesday.
The Florida First Amendment Foundation is awarding the journalistic distinction for the third time, in honor of Florida journalists who have relied on public records to expose corruption, crime and injustice. It’s named after trailblazing journalist Lucy Morgan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), who uncovered corruption at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and revealed drug smuggling operations throughout Central Florida.
In 1973, she was sentenced to eight months in jail for refusing to reveal the identity of an anonymous source in court, a decision the Florida Supreme Court later overturned.
Morgan will be presenting the award to Brown and Michot during Wednesday’s event.