Sacramento County has abandoned its appeal of a multimillion-dollar verdict awarded to four female sheriff’s deputies last year for retaliation and harassment by their superiors, court documents show.
Attorneys for the law firm Porter Scott, representing the county in the years-long legal battle against sheriff’s lieutenants Annica Hagadorn and Dawn Douglas, sheriff’s deputy Jodi Mendonca and sheriff’s Sgt. Tracie Keillor, filed the papers Wednesday after formally appealing the verdict in Sacramento Superior Court in January.
A year ago, in May 2016, Sacramento Superior Court jurors awarded more than $3.5 million to the veteran deputies who claimed in a 2010 lawsuit that their superiors retaliated against them for speaking out about discrimination and preferential treatment in the ranks.
Last September, a judge ordered Sacramento County to pay an additional $5.3 million in legal fees. The county had spent more than $1.15 million to take the six-year case to trial and file appeals before ending the fight last week.
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Much of the retaliation was alleged to have taken place under the tenure of Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. Jurors announced their verdict in the middle of Jones’ contentious and closely watched race for Congress against incumbent Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove. Jones denied any retaliation took place.
Undersheriff Erik Maness was accused in the suit of reassigning Douglas, Mendonca and Keillor from county jail positions, while he was the jail’s commander, after the three confronted him about their suspicions of an inappropriate relationship with a female deputy.