Skip to Content
Crime And Courts
Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

DCSO, Sheriff Nelson sued by sergeant for policy violation

One of several lawsuits filed by agency in recent years

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and Sheriff Shane Nelson are being sued by a sergeant who claims they failed to follow federal and state laws and deprived him of his rights.

Michael Molan has worked for DSCO since 2002 and currently serves as a sergeant.

In a 34-page complaint filed earlier this fall, Molan claims the department violated its own policy and in turn affected his efforts to seek a promotion to lieutenant.

The lawsuit claims that after Molan brought attention to a policy violation last year regarding the use of force during a pat-down, he was the target of an investigation in retaliation that was not completed in a timely manner.

Molan claims he was suspended without pay for two days after reporting the incident. He says the investigation prevented him from applying for a lieutenant position.

Molan also claims he suffered humiliation and distress and is seeking compensation for back pay and loss of benefits.

NewsChannel 21 received this emailed statement from Sheriff Shane Nelson:

"This lawsuit is based on allegations that were investigated by independent investigators in 2019. At the conclusion of the investigations, the outside investigators determined the allegations were unfounded. We will continue proudly delivering customer service to our community, guided by our mission and values."

NewsChannel 21 reached out to Molan and his lawyer and have not yet received a response.

Central Oregon / News

Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.



  1. Its funny how a government employee who is 100% subsidized by the tax payers. Can bring a law suit against a law enforcement department that is 100% subsidized by the tax payers. who pays in the end, the tax payer.

    1. Exactly, maybe if it was sheriff nelson himself paying for violations under his dept, there wouldnt be so many issues… we are at about a half-dozen allegations of hostile work environment so far this year and counting, coming from our local hero first-responders its clearly alarming (and just as unneccessary from shane as his rebranding our squad cars into partisan political displays now)

  2. Any government employees should not have to pay any income taxes on their wages. That just skews financial data. They also should get rid of all the states. They are just redundant. The only states that should be allowable in America are liquid, gas and solid.

  3. I would really like to know how much DCSO’s budget has gone up since Nelson was the jail Captain when Eddie Mays died on the jail floor and the tax payers paid out. The turn over since Nelson has been in office is unprecedented and each one of those deputies fully trained sworn staff from academy to on their own is well over $100,000 each.

  4. Perfect.

    Another self-entitled employee hoping to cash in with a “my feelings got hurt” lawsuit…and hoping the County will cave in and just pay him off rather than see him present his “case” in court.

    Let’s see, despite the habitual few “we hate Nelson” voices out there, one corrections deputy was paid 22K for what was shown to be a County HR administrative error (although the 7 year Army veteran should have known how to properly prepare and submit a promotion packet in the first place); a second (former) deputy just had one of two lawsuits thrown out by the judge, his second one pending a decision perhaps this week; a third former deputy, who offered during his campaign for Sheriff back in 2016, that if he were to lose the election he was going to sue (which he did, and did) is waiting/hoping the County might settle with him (with a non-disclosure agreement so no fault or error can become public record); and now this deputy with his hurt feelings.

    In the meantime the Sheriff’s Office has broken all records for service calls attended to, cases taken and solved, new personnel hired and by exacting standards, a turn-around at the jail and how it is operated/run, and new in-house training on multiple subjects meant to continue to professionalize the agency and provide continued great service to the community.

    Perhaps someone should send the offended “law enforcement professionals” filing these silly suits a box of Kleenex tissues this Christmas…

Leave a Reply