'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic sues Justice Department for rejecting his pardon

Joe Maldonado, Joe Schreibvoge Maldonado
Posted at 3:36 PM, Dec 18, 2020

The star of the Netflix documentary "Tiger King" Joe Exotic sued the United States Justice Department Wednesday because they rejected his request for a presidential pardon.

According to court documents obtained by CBS11 and Courthouse News, lawyers for Exotic, whose real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, argued that the rejection isn't valid because Acting Pardon Attorney Rosalind Sargent-Burns didn't give his official request to President Donald Trump himself.

According to the six-page complaint filed in federal court in Fort Worth, Exotic's legal team named Sargent-Burns because she allegedly never gave President Trump a formal recommendation, which according to the lawsuit, she's required to do.

Currently, Maldonado-Passage is serving a 22-year prison sentence in Fort Worth after he was found guilty in April 2019 for animal cruelty and trying to hire someone to murder Carole Baskin, who's a big-cat rights activist.

The complaint also names Donald Trump Jr. as a supporter, CBS11 reported.