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Former DCSO sergeant loses second lawsuit against agency

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office

Judge dismisses both claims; attorney plans to file appeals

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A former Deschutes County sheriff’s sergeant has lost the second of two lawsuits he filed against the agency, claiming unfair treatment and violation of his rights and failure to properly credit his veteran’s status.

Visiting Circuit Court Judge Locke Williams Locke last Friday ruled against the lawsuit filed by Ronny Dozier in April 2018 against the agency, Sheriff Shane Nelson and lieutenants Ty Rupert and Mike Sundberg.

Dozier sought more than $570,000, alleging violation of his due process and First Amendment rights, as well as violations of Oregon’s Whistleblower protection statute and a state statute for veterans preference in public employment.

Dozier’s lawyer, Sean Riddell of Portland, said the former sergeant filed the claim alleging that after being demoted to patrol deputy, he should have been promoted back to sergeant.

Last month, Williams, appearing by video, found that while the sheriff’s office did not apply a veterans preference as required back in 2016, when he sought promotion from sergeant to lieutenant.

But the judge found that Dozier failed to prove he would have been promoted to lieutenant, had his veteran status been taken into account.

Nelson has noted that county human resources officials, not his agency, handle the initial application process in hiring, including the application of veteran's preference points.

Riddell told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday he's filed a notice of appeal in the first case and will do so in the second once the ruling of summary judgment is signed by the judge.

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Barney Lerten

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


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