King County to pay deputy $1.35M to settle discrimination, sexual harassment suit

King County has agreed to pay $1.35 million to a sergeant and two former deputies who accused the sheriff's office of discrimination and sexual harassment.

In a lawsuit, Sgt. Diana Neff  claimed that she was harassed by male superiors and subjected to retaliation when she reported it. Fired deputies Amy Shoblom and Lou Caballero also made claims against the department.

The agreement represents the second million dollar settlement involving current or former sheriff's department employees in the last few years.

The plaintiff's attorneys are from the Connelly Law Offices. Attorney Julie Kays confirmed that Neff has reached the $1.35 million settlement.

The alleged abuses took place before Sheriff John Urquhart took office, but he has said the cases were without merit.

In a statement, Urquhart said he stands by the termination of Shoblom and Caballero following a dispute with a Metro bus driver. The sheriff said he pushed for the case to go to trial.

Kays claimed that there was pervasive sexism in the King County Sheriff's Office, from the sheriff on down.

Kays said the investigation "revealed disturbing acts of corruption and cover-up by the Sheriff himself. We call on the Department of Justice to commence an investigation into the Sheriff's abuse of authority."

© 2017 KING-TV


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