lawsuit against sheriff

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newspaper

Spencer, TN

#1 Feb 13, 2012
http://www.myspartanews.com/articles/2012/02/...

Former deputy files lawsuit against sheriff

Plaintiff alleges unlawful retaliation and discrimination
By Kim Swindell Wood
Editor
kim@myspartanews.com
Published: Monday, February 13, 2012 9:35 AM CST

A DeKalb county man who served 18 months as law enforcement officer with White County Sheriff Department has filed a lawsuit against the sheriff and his chief deputy.

Dustin J. Farris alleges Sheriff Oddie Shoupe and Chief Deputy Thomas Simmons subjected him to “adverse employment actions, harassment and retaliation for his political association with Guy Goff, the political opponent of incumbent Sheriff Oddie Shoupe, in 2010.”

The lawsuit was filed July 12, 2011, in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee (Cookeville).

The lawsuit also alleges Shoupe, through his political office, used members of the sheriff department to retaliate against Farris for his political association.

On Aug. 5, 2010, which was Election Day, Farris was at the Doyle voting precinct politically supporting Goff. The lawsuit alleges Simmons drove by Farris in his personal vehicle and cursed him. The lawsuit states Farris had a witness to this alleged incident.

Farris was terminated from his position as a deputy, on Aug. 6, 2010.

The lawsuit states the plaintiff’s right to speak freely with his political views is protected by the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The plaintiff asks the court to:

a. Enter a declaratory judgment declaring the defendants have willfully and wrongfully violated their statutory, constitutional, and legal obligations and deprived the Plaintiff of his rights, privileges, protections, compensation, and entitlements under law and the Constitution;

b. Award Plaintiff monetary damages in the form of back pay compensations, unpaid entitlements, benefits, plus pre-judgment and post judgment interest;

c. Award Plaintiff compensatory damages payable by the Defendants and punitive damages payable by the Defendants for the violations of the Plaintiff’s rights and the harm to his reputation, humiliation, emotional and mental anguish, and for other financial and consequential harm and injuries he has suffered;

d. Award Plaintiff reasonable attorney’s fees and the cost and disbursements of this action;

e. Grant such legal and equitable relief as may be just and proper, including, but not limited to, removing any reference to Plaintiff’s termination from his personnel file and from the Peace Officers and Training Commission.

Richard M. Brooks, of Carthage, and Michael Savage, of Livingston are attorneys for Farris.

Michael T. Schmitt and W. Carl Spining, both of Nashville, are representing Shoupe and Simmons.

A jury trial is set for 9 a.m., Jan. 15, 2013, in Cookeville, before District Judge Kevin H. Sharp.
he lost

Mcminnville, TN

#2 Feb 13, 2012
Guy "Al Gore" Goff needs to accept that he lost the election and get over it.
you lost it

Spencer, TN

#3 Feb 13, 2012
this has got nothing to do with who won the election...get a clue
get a clue

Spencer, TN

#5 Feb 13, 2012
it's about ruining an officer's career with harassment and firing over who he was for in the election

violation of rights is what it is about
taxpayer

Mcminnville, TN

#6 Feb 13, 2012
How many lawsuits are their currently involving the White County Sheriffs Department and/or employees? I know of one or two but they may be settled by know.
Oddie al gore

Cookeville, TN

#7 Feb 13, 2012
he lost wrote:
Guy "Al Gore" Goff needs to accept that he lost the election and get over it.
I'm sorry but I fail to see where Goff is suing anyone.It appears that a deputy was supporting Goff was fired.This would have been Oddie's stupidity if the deputy is able to prove it.
SGC

Cookeville, TN

#8 Feb 13, 2012
This could open a pandora's box on Oddie if this is proven to be true. What other tactics might he have used on civil employees during the election? Not saying he did, but I'm guessing there will be inquiries...
Foster

Burbank, CA

#9 Feb 13, 2012
Oddie has cost this county dearly with all these law suits.Wise up people.
Concerned tax payer

Cookeville, TN

#10 Feb 13, 2012
Who is paying for those lawyers out of Nashville hired to represent Shoupe and Simmons?
So it goes

Beechgrove, TN

#11 Feb 13, 2012
So who would the druggies prefer in office? Glad most of them don't know how to vote...LOL
Neighbor

Sparta, TN

#12 Feb 13, 2012
Concerned tax payer wrote:
Who is paying for those lawyers out of Nashville hired to represent Shoupe and Simmons?
You Mr. Tax Payer
Concerned

Sparta, TN

#13 Feb 13, 2012
Sorry but Tennessee is a right to work state your boss can fire you without reason and without warning.
HappyOldLady

Beechgrove, TN

#14 Feb 13, 2012
Shoupe and his merry band of men take good care of me, and I am most grateful. When I call, they're right here. Haven't had the need to call for months. They cleaned up my neck of the woods.
maybe not

Spencer, TN

#15 Feb 13, 2012
Concerned wrote:
Sorry but Tennessee is a right to work state your boss can fire you without reason and without warning.
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/wrongf...

Retaliation
Employers are forbidden from retaliating against employees who have engaged in certain legally protected activities. To show that you lost your job as a result of your employer's retaliation, you must prove all of the following:
You were engaged in a legally protected activity -- such as filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or formally complaining to your employer about harassment or discrimination.
That activity prompted your employer to act -- for example, you were reprimanded just after your employer found out that you filed a charge of sexual harassment.
Your employer's action had adverse consequences for you -- you were fired, denied a promotion, or given a negative performance review that was unwarranted, for example.
For more information on what constitutes retaliation, see Nolo's article Workplace Retaliation: What Are Your Rights?
The Truth Hurts

Beechgrove, TN

#16 Feb 13, 2012
Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that any effective law enforcement officer, not to mention the Sheriff, in White Co. would have to contend with a great many attacks. Something about tough law enforcement and White Co. just do not seem to mix. Go figure...........LOL
wavy gravy

Sparta, TN

#17 Feb 13, 2012
Law enforcemrnt in this county is anything but "tough"...in the words of Vicki Lawrence "catch the bus Eunice".....i.e. get a clue son....
The Truth Hurts

Beechgrove, TN

#18 Feb 13, 2012
How would you propose we initiate "tough" law enforcement in White Co? Given poorly funded budgets, personnel paid barely over the poverty line, and half the population would rather run drugs and collect handouts than accomplish anything of any value there is only so much that can be done as the situation now stands I would think.
yes truth hurts

Cookeville, TN

#19 Feb 14, 2012
a few around here say the law is tough i don't see it .after that last election i noticed it being very soft.being tough is only a perception,when someone is being arrested if you count being smart mouthed as being tough then i guess they're tough.
i think its soft but they will answer the calls and thats all most people want a few would like a more proactive force that doesn't whine and complain about funding all the time and just do something.
yes truth hurts

Cookeville, TN

#20 Feb 14, 2012
ok now truth hurts bring it on start calling me a drug dealer and a jailbird i know thats what you will start now but bring it on nothing could be further from the truth.
maybeso

Mcminnville, TN

#21 Feb 14, 2012
maybe not wrote:
<quoted text>
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/wrongf...
Retaliation
Employers are forbidden from retaliating against employees who have engaged in certain legally protected activities. To show that you lost your job as a result of your employer's retaliation, you must prove all of the following:
You were engaged in a legally protected activity -- such as filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or formally complaining to your employer about harassment or discrimination.
That activity prompted your employer to act -- for example, you were reprimanded just after your employer found out that you filed a charge of sexual harassment.
Your employer's action had adverse consequences for you -- you were fired, denied a promotion, or given a negative performance review that was unwarranted, for example.
For more information on what constitutes retaliation, see Nolo's article Workplace Retaliation: What Are Your Rights?
You are aware employers keep tabs on anything they can to use against you in case you claim discrimination. Yes they can fire at will and will dig up anything or any mistake that you ever made in the past and say this is why you were terminated.
Proving you were fired for discrimination in Tennessee is near impossible because everyone has made mistakes at their job.

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