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Sacramento County may pay $5.3 million in fees to plaintiffs’ attorneys in sheriff’s workplace lawsuit

Sheriff Scott Jones: 'Department strongly disagrees with verdict'

Jurors awarded more than $3.57 million in damages to the four veteran female sheriff’s deputies who claimed their Sheriff’s Department superiors retaliated against them for speaking out against discrimination and preferential treatment in their ra
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Jurors awarded more than $3.57 million in damages to the four veteran female sheriff’s deputies who claimed their Sheriff’s Department superiors retaliated against them for speaking out against discrimination and preferential treatment in their ra

A Sacramento Superior Court judge has tentatively awarded $5.3 million in attorneys fees to the four female deputies who sued the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for workplace retaliation.

The proposed attorneys’ fees award is more than the $3.5 million penalty already awarded the plaintiffs in a May judgment against the county.

Chris Andis, a spokeswoman for Sacramento County, said in an email the county has just received the notice and that the ruling will be discussed in court Friday.

“What I can tell is this tentative ruling is related to a verdict that we are currently appealing and is equally subject to appeal,” she wrote.

The county appealed the original verdict in August, citing a duty to taxpayers to attempt to reduce the cost of the judgment. The court battle has largely been fought by an outside law firm the county paid nearly $640,000 to refute the claim.

The six-year legal fight between Sheriff’s Lt. Annica Hagadorn, Sgt. Tracie Keillor, Lt. Dawn Douglas and Deputy Jodi Mendonca and the Sheriff’s department revolved around speaking out against discrimination and an improper relationship between now-Undersheriff Erik Maness and a female deputy under his command.

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