Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Political activist Sam Rashid sues former hair salon employee over Facebook post

East county political activist and donor Sam Rashid is suing a former employee

Times file photo

East county political activist and donor Sam Rashid is suing a former employee



Powerful east county political activist and donor Sam Rashid has twice in recent years walked away from seats on prestigious boards because of fallout from controversial posts he made on social media. 

Now, he is suing a former employee for her Facebook post.

In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County Friday, Rashid claimed that he has been libeled on social media by Jacqueline Lilley, a former worker at a Brandon hair salon and spa that he co-owns.

The complaint against Lilley includes a screen grab of a March 6 Facebook post about her former workplace in which she wrote that “the owners are thieves.” The post also states that workers at Divine Designs Salon and Spa employees were told they cannot communicate or even text with former workers who left on “bad terms.”

The post attracted more than 39 comments and was “liked” at least 14 times, the lawsuit states. Rashid is seeking damages in excess of $15,000.

A Republican, Rashid has had Facebook trouble of his own in the past. 

He resigned from the board of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority in October 2015 after widespread criticism of a post in which he called a prominent local political consultant a “tax-payer subsidized slut.” 

In another rant on Facebook earlier that year he described three unnamed Hillsborough County circuit judges as “dumbasses.” That led to him declining a nomination from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to serve on the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.

Senior Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Christopher O’Donnell at or (813) 226-3446. Follow @codonnell_Times.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 12:55pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours