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News / Northwest

Chelan County, former deputy settle discrimination suit for $1.5M

By Pete O’Cain, The Wenatchee World
Published: May 21, 2024, 8:08pm

SPOKANE — Chelan County has agreed to settle a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by former deputy Jennifer Tyler for $1.5 million.

“This decision was made to avoid further costs, uncertainties, and impositions on the County, the Sheriff’s Office and Ms. Tyler & her family,” said Sheriff Mike Morrison in a news release.

In the lawsuit, filed in May 2019 in the U.S. Eastern District Court, Tyler claimed co-workers targeted her because of an earlier lawsuit and because she challenged then-Sheriff Brian Burnett in the 2018 general election.

Tyler and the county agreed to settlement terms on May 13.

“Discovery processes in this litigation presented the truth of what Chelan County allowed to happen to Ms. Tyler under the prior administration,” her attorney, Mary Schultz, said in a statement to The Wenatchee World on Monday. “This administration has stepped up and owned its responsibility, and we hope that what was revealed can move the County Sheriff’s department forward for all of its employees and citizens.”

The settlement came the same week that the county finalized a wrongful death lawsuit for $2.5 million with the family of an inmate who died in custody at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center.

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