Two Former Deputies Seeking $10 Million in Damages From Grant County
Two deputies have filed court documents against Grant County and three current and former staff members of the Sheriff's Office.
Ex-chief deputies Derek Gregg and Dustin Canfield, are demanding $5 million each in damages for loss of wages and emotional distress.
They claim they were forced to resign after allegedly being retaliated against for reporting misconduct within the sheriff’s office.
The court filing is a pre-text to a lawsuit, which would target the county for payment of damages, but also names former sheriff Tom Jones, acting sheriff Ryan Rectenwald and chief deputy Ken Jones as defendants.
An internal conflict started in May 2021 when 38-year-old Canfield and 48-year-old Gregg, who held the same rank as chief deputy Jones, went to Sheriff Jones to inform him of accusations from subordinates that the chief deputy had fudged information on his timecard, amounting to a fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars.
Deputies had reported work slowdowns because Chief Jones was away performing security work in Seattle.
Canfield and Gregg say they were retaliated against by chief deputy Jones, Sheriff Jones and Undersheriff Rectenwald. Canfield and Gregg claim they were subject to heated. loud, vulgar and angry statements and had their loyalty questioned.
They claim the abusive behavior toward them forced them to resign in the fall of 2021. Canfield resigned in September 2021 while Gregg resigned roughly a month later.
The two claim in their court filing that the retaliation against them forced their resignations and legally amounted to wrongful discharge.
Independent investigations conducted by other Washington law enforcement agencies exonerated chief deputy Jones of wrongdoing with his timecard.
Canfield and Gregg filed a tort claim in Grant County, which is legal notice of a pending lawsuit if a settlement is not reached.