Judge Rejects Lawsuit Against Lake County Sheriff

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by current and former Lake County sheriff’s office employees against the sheriff and three of his officers.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen on Wednesday rejected the claims that Sheriff Jay Doyle, Michael Sargeant, Dan Duryee and Dan Yonkin retaliated against the plaintiffs over efforts to expose corruption.

Terry Leonard, Steven Kendley, Mechel Gehl, Ben Woods and Levi Read claimed in the 2012 lawsuit that they were reprimanded, demoted and subject to a hostile work environment after they reported alleged illegal activities by the defendants.

The plaintiffs also claimed they were retaliated against when they opposed Doyle’s 2010 election campaign.

But Christensen agreed with a magistrate judge’s recommendation the plaintiffs’ claims of constitutional violations were unfounded or couldn’t be brought because of previous litigation.

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