Sheriff to fire 2 who sued

By From page A1 | December 7, 2010

Two of the female plaintiffs in the sex discrimination suits filed against the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department were served notice that the department intends to terminate them, their attorney said.

Folsom attorney Douglas E. Watts told the Mountain Democrat that two of his clients, sheriff’s Deputy Tanya Hunt and community service officer Nicole Sahaj-Myers, recently received notice of their pending termination from the Sheriff’s Department.

Both women are currently embroiled in litigation after filing suits earlier this year alleging the existence of a “good ol’ boys” network within the department.

The network, according to their court filings, discriminates against female employees deemed “vulnerable, either because of perceived weakness, feminine personalities, marital or relationship status, or mental/emotional state.”

“These actions are completely transparent, retaliatory and taken by (the sheriff) because he knows he’s not accountable to the voters or to the rank-and-file EDSO members,” said Watts.

In June, Hunt filed a suit claiming to be the victim of sexual harassment from select members of the Sheriff’s Department.

The suit also alleges the department failed to properly evaluate and assist Hunt after she suffered personal tragedies, including the 2006 murder of her mother, sister and stepfather as well as the 2008 suicide of friend and fellow deputy Melissa Meekma.

One month later, Sahaj-Myers, along with community service officers Jona Scher and Stacie Walls, filed their own separate suit, alleging victimization similar to Hunt’s.

Watts said Sahaj-Myers’ termination goes into effect Dec. 17 while Hunt’s begins Dec. 20.

Sheriff Fred Kollar declined to comment, saying the department is legally prohibited from discussing personnel matters.

E-mail Jim Ratajczak at [email protected] or call 530-344-5071.

Jim Ratajczak

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