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Politics & Government

Nez Perce County Sheriff Without A Lawyer After Alleged Facebook Leaks

Joe Rodriguez via Facebook

The Nez Perce County prosecutor will no longer represent Sheriff Joe Rodriguez after he allegedly shared confidential employee information with an anonymous Facebook group.

The letter from Nez Perce County Prosecutor Justin Coleman was also signed by all three county commissioners. In it, they say the information Sheriff Joe Rodriguez released could create liability issues for the county, which Coleman is required to defend.

In a separate letter, Coleman said Rodriguez “shows clear intent to not follow legal counsel,” “mocks and disregards” advice from insurers and continues to create “substantial” liability risks to the county.

The Idaho Counties Risk Management Program paid out nearly $70,000 over the summer to settle a sexual harassment claim made against the sheriff by a male employee, according to the Lewiston Tribune.

The insurance program has also implemented five-figure deductibles for the sheriff’s office due to Coleman’s letter. Last year, Nez Perce County commissioners held back his cost of living increase and money for two new vehicles for his office in case of further lawsuits.

Rodriguez didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

He’s currently being challenged by his former chief deputy, Bryce Scrimsher, who said Rodriguez fired him for helping the employee file the successful sexual harassment claim.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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