Fired deputy sues 3 sheriffs, commissioners

MARTINSBURG – Four years after he was fired as a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy, Sergeant Michael Dodson has filed a federal lawsuit naming the last three sheriffs and the County Commission as defendants.

[cleeng_content id="478547897" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]Dodson was accused of carrying on an affair with another deputy — Cpl. Tracy Edwards – during working hours by then-Sheriff Everett “Ed” Boober. Dodson was fired by former Sheriff Robert “Bobby” Shirley on Jan. 6, 2009 shortly after he took office.

Shirley resigned his position last year and is currently serving a one-year sentence after pleading guilty on an excessive force charge. He is incarcerated at a federal facility in McCreary, Ky., and due to be released in March 2014.

Dodson’s firing was ruled in September 2011 to have been a wrongful termination by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, which decided he had not been granted a predisciplinary hearing as is required by state law and court precedents.

Dodson’s latest case, filed earlier this month, alleges that he was subjected to unrecorded interrogations, that he was not advised of his right to a lawyer and that he was compelled to submit to a polygraph. He argues that these actions, along with the failure to provide a pre-disciplinary hearing, violated his due process rights.

He further alleges that Sheriff Peter Dougherty, who was appointed to repplace Shirley earlier this year, has “adopted and ratified” the prior sheriffs’ actions by failing to take him back on as a deputy. Dodson maintains that the County Commission is also liable since it failed to protect him, as its employee, from the actions of the three sheriffs.

Dodson is seeking back pay and benefits, reinstatement as a sergeant and punitive damages.

Northern District Judge Gina Groh, a former Jefferson County assistant prosecutor, has recused herself from the case. It will be heard by Judge John Preston Bailey.[/cleeng_content]


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