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Sheriff Elder prevails in wrongful termination suit

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Sheriff Bill Elder prevailed in a wrongful termination lawsuit tried before an eight-person federal court jury in Denver the week of Aug. 13. The jury found the Sheriff's Office didn't violate employment laws when it terminated Sgt. John Huntz after he went on leave due to medical issues.

Huntz alleged he was placed on jail night shifts in retaliation after his then-wife, sheriff's dispatcher Tiffany Huntz, reported being sexually harassed by a commander. Her lawsuit alleging sex discrimination was dismissed a year ago.

John Huntz remained on leave for almost eight months and was fired in August 2015 when he didn't return to work, failed to respond to requests to undergo an exam for fitness for duty and didn't ask for "light duty," the county said in a news release.

Huntz's attorney, Ian Kalmanowitz, says: "John believed that what happened to him was wrong, and it took great strength and courage for one man to challenge the institution of the Sheriff's Office. People like John Huntz should be commended for standing up and reminding us all that, right or wrong, the government should be called upon to account for its actions."

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