Sheriff L. Shane Nelson says he was expecting the lawsuit from former Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Kozowski.
However, Nelson was unable to comment further on the lawsuit and the termination of Kozowski. However he said “people who don’t align with our values will not work here,” in a phone interview with Central Oregon Daily.
Nelson added that not everyone is going to like being held accountable.
Former Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Kozowski filed a complaint in the District Court on Monday. He is seeking $3,400,000 in economic damages as well as non-economic and punitive damages.
The complaint from Kozowski alleges that his termination was retaliation against his use of his first amendment rights. Specifically when Kozowski ran against Nelson for Sheriff in a 2016 election.
Kozowski was fired on Jan. 31 by Sheriff L. Shane Nelson based on internal investigations which concluded that Kozowski violated Sheriff’s Office policies.
Kozowski was placed on paid administrative leave on September 24, 2017 due to allegations from 2010 and 2016. Kozowski allegedly failed to take a report in 2010 and failed to arrest a wanted suspect in 2016.