Minten Gets Deputy Job Back, Plus Nearly $270,000
Date posted - March 7, 2012
US District Judge Mark Bennet has awarded Minten nearly $270,000. That’s over $131,000 in back pay, over $26,000 to IPERS, the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System and over $112,000 to pay his legal fees.
Not only did Minten get his job back, but he was re-instated at the seniority and status he had reached before he was fired in 2010.
Minten claimed he was wrongfully fired in 2010 from his position by Osceola County Sheriff Doug Weber after Minten offered to testify in a case against Weber.
US District Court Judge Mark Bennett agreed. He issued a summary judgment in favor of Minten in December. The jury trial was only to decide how much in monetary damages Minten was owed.
Judge Bennett found that Sheriff Weber fired Minten after Minten made a traffic stop of Emily Dorr, in which he told Dorr that he would be willing to testify against the Sheriff in her father’s case against the sheriff.
That lawsuit claimed that Weber discriminated against Paul Dorr and his son Alexander by not issuing them concealed weapons permits. The Dorrs won that suit in July 2010.
Judge Bennett says that Minten’s offer to testify was protected speech, and his firing was at least due in part to that speech. Therefore, he ruled that Weber’s firing of Minten was a violation of Minten’s first amendment rights.
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