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Deputies fired for supporting their sheriff's primary opponent

It is hard to fully describe how damaging a firing can be; especially one that comes out of nowhere and, seemingly, was done with a retaliatory motive. The fired individual suffers permanent damage to their personal and professional reputations. People they know outside of work will look at them a bit differently; potential employers will scrutinize their work ethic; and they can struggle to earn the wages that they deserve in future positions.

Retaliation is illegal and causes much stress and hardship on the displaced employee. Six deputy sheriffs in Central Texas County know this reality all too well, and they taking steps to rectify the situation by filing a civil lawsuit against their former sheriff.

The firings of these six deputy sheriffs appear to have been done for purely political reasons, because the fired employees carry a combined 114 years of law enforcement experience and received nothing but praise in their performance reviews. So why were they let go?

Well, these six deputy sheriffs openly supported a sheriff candidate that ran against their current sheriff, who they obviously report to. In the GOP primary, the current sheriff defeated his opponent supported by the six deputy sheriffs, and then went on to win the election. Shortly thereafter, the six deputy sheriffs were fired.

The group claims that their first amendment rights were violated, and they their financial situations were dramatically affected by the loss of wages and benefits their position offered. Their lawsuit will move forward in the coming months, and it would appear they have a good case. There is always the possibility that the deputy sheriffs could earn their jobs back through this lawsuit, an outcome which is not that uncommon.

Source: KWTX, "Central Texas County And New Sheriff Named In Federal Lawsuit," Paul J. Gately, Jan. 10, 2013

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