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Butte County, CA

Butte County, CA: (Aug-21-07) Former Butte County jailer William Shelton filed a federal lawsuit in US District Court in 1997, alleging that he was arrested on trumped-up charges in retaliation for reporting a jail beating that was orchestrated by three other guards. Shelton claimed that he faced bogus criminal charges in retaliation for blowing the whistle on three other guards in a purported jail house beating. Shelton was one of two Butte County jailers who went to the media claiming that before being convicted of molesting several young boys in a backyard hot tub in Oroville, Randall Garske, the other, had been attacked in the county jail in the mid-1990s and beaten by other inmates at the request of three guards. The two jail whistleblowers were initially fired by Sheriff Mick Grey, but later reinstated and allowed to accept a stress disability retirement.

In a settlement reached, Butte County has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle the decade-old lawsuit. It is believed to be one of the largest amounts paid out by the county to resolve a civil rights lawsuit. Butte County officials stated that although the county denies Shelton's claims of retaliation, it would have cost more to take the case to trial before a federal jury, with no guarantee of the outcome. [OROVILLE MERCURY REGISTER: WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATION]


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Published on Aug-22-07


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