Missoula County Settles Deputies Kissing Lawsuit
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Missoula County has settled a lawsuit filed by a sheriff's deputy who said she was discriminated against when she was repeatedly questioned about a kiss she shared with a married deputy at her residence during a time when he failed to respond to a 911 call.
Sheriff T.J. McDermott said the county will pay Deputy Rebecca Birket $60,000 to settle the case. He says it's about doing the right thing when harm is done to an employee.
The alleged discrimination occurred in 2013, when Carl Ibsen was sheriff.
Birket sought damages for privacy violations and humiliation she suffered during the internal investigation.
In February 2014, county commissioners approved $60,000 settlements for both McDermott and now Undersheriff Jason Johnson. They alleged Ibsen discriminated against them when McDermott announced plans to run for sheriff.