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Lawsuit filed after commission fails to help sheriff's deputy who complained about fellow deputy's transfer

The Deputy Sheriffs Association has sued the county Civil Service Commission after it failed to help a deputy who went to the commission after the sheriff ignored his complaint about the transfer of another deputy to his station.

Deputy Michael Neufeld complained about the transfer of an unnamed deputy to the station in Oceano where he worked. The specifics of Neufeld’s complaint about the unnamed deputy are being withheld because it is a personnel matter.

After the sheriff’s administration declined to re-assign the deputy, Neufeld filed a grievance with the Civil Service Commission, which is an avenue for employees who cannot achieve what they consider fair treatment in their departments.

The commission said it had no jurisdiction in the case.

That perspective leaves deputy sheriffs without the same protections other county employees have, according to the DSA’s attorney Alison Berry Wilkinson.

Wilkinson said the litigation is “still at a very preliminary stage.”

The transfer of the unnamed deputy occurred in 2008 and Neufeld and the DSA filed suit in 2009.

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