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Deschutes County, sheriff’s deputy reach $527,000 settlement of federal discrimination lawsuit

KTVZ file

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A month before it was set to go to trial, a $527,000 settlement was announced late Wednesday of a federal lawsuit filed four years ago by a Deschutes County sheriff's deputy against the county and Sheriff Shane Nelson, alleging sex discrimination and other illegal job practices.

Along with the payment to Deputy Crystal Jansen that includes attorney fees, Jansen has agreed to resign her position with the sheriff’s office, the brief county announcement said, adding, “The parties will not be providing any additional comment."

Nearly five years ago, Jansen filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, accusing Nelson of discriminating against her the prior three years because she is a woman. The allegations included blocking her from promotions, excluding her from training her male counterparts were provided, and harassment.

Nelson said at the time that an outside investigator had looked into the claims and that, for example, other employees were chosen due to seniority or her poor performance reviews. Jansen said the investigator talked to only four of the 20 people she’d asked to be interviewed and that Nelson taunted her by entering a meeting, winking at her and placing his hand on her shoulder.

A video provided by the sheriff’s office to NewsChannel 21 at that time became part of the allegations in the 2017 federal lawsuit (amended the following year), noting that the video provided to the station blurred other people’s faces, but not hers.

A two-week trial of the lawsuit was scheduled to begin Oct. 18 in federal court in Eugene, court documents show.

Article Topic Follows: Deschutes County
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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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