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County Deputy’s “Frivolous” Lawsuit Has Been Dismissed by a Federal Judge. However, It is Not Yet Over

A lawsuit that was filed by a former Franklin County patrol deputy who claimed he was wrongfully fired, discriminated against, defamed, and deprived of his civil rights has been dismissed by a federal court. The former deputy’s claims were as follows:

The application for a summary judgement that was submitted by Franklin County and Sheriff Jim Raymond was granted by the court in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

According to the records filed in the case, the judge made the decision to throw out George Rapp’s lawsuit after his counsel admitted that his client’s allegations of retaliation lacked evidence as well as the “legal authority” to support them.

Raymond told the Tri-City Herald on Friday that he is looking forward to “getting… back to conducting police work instead of answering to these false claims.” “It’ll be wonderful to get… back to doing police work,”

Although Rapp’s lawyers, Andrea Clare and George Telquist of Telaré Law, were unable to be reached on Friday to comment on the ruling, it should be noted that this is not the final chapter in the legal struggle that has lasted for over six years.

A notice of appeal was submitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit the week before last.

Richard Lathim, who served as sheriff of Franklin County before, hired Rapp in 2011, and he was let go for the first time in May of 2016.

Raymond explained that Rapp was initially let go from the company because he violated company policy and posed a risk to the health and safety of his coworkers.

According to earlier stories in the Herald, during his first five years on the job he received six different forms of reprimand, although none of them led to his firing.

The incidences ranged from the law enforcement officer appearing to nod off while driving his patrol car to speed to assist a colleague who needed assistance.

His patrol vehicle did not have the essential equipment, such as first-aid kits, bottled water, documentation, or traffic cones, which prevented him from performing his duties effectively.

After receiving what the county described as a “mildly critical performance evaluation,” Rapp reportedly became upset just a few months before he was fired from his position.

As a result of the aftermath, he was placed on administrative leave, and despite being asked to turn in the M16 rifle that was issued to him by the county, Rapp would not hand it over.


Because of all of the prior reprimands, Raymond decided to terminate him.

However, the deputy’s union contract did not permit all of the reprimands to be combined into a single case and used as a reason to fire someone.

This was one of the reasons why the deputy was not fired. According to the documents filed with the court, each one has to be addressed on an individual basis.

According to the court documents, the arbitrator came to the conclusion that the sheriff did not order a psychological test nor did he seek out all of the facts.

Rapp successfully appealed his termination through the process of arbitration after initially losing his job. After several hearings, an arbitrator issued a ruling in September 2016 ordering Franklin County to rehire Rapp and pay him back pay.

The arbitrator stated that the decision to fire Rapp did not meet the criteria for “just cause” outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.

As a result of the county’s appeal to the Superior Court, Rapp was not reinstated until January 2019, more than two years after the original ruling.

Rapp, who had previously worked as a patrol deputy, was given a new position as a corrections officer in the master control room of the jail, which is responsible for monitoring cells and controlling door access.

In the action, it was alleged that he had been humiliated and treated poorly in his new employment. He said that the sheriff had denied him a commission and had restricted his access to the interior of the sheriff’s station, including the break room.

Rapp stated that he was not provided with the resources that were necessary for him to fulfil the responsibilities that were assigned to him.

Because he was not authorised to be in the intake area of the jail while on duty, he was reprimanded for going there momentarily to get a soda. This occurred while he was working.

His legal team contended that the county eventually discovered a justification to terminate him a second time.

As a result of the decision made by the arbitrator, Chief Judge Stanley Bastian of the United States District Court ordered in December 2020 that Rapp should be reinstated to his previous position as a patrol deputy.

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In the end, he was never employed by the company again, and the legal action proceeded in federal court.

Then, earlier this month, Bastian rendered a decision regarding the summary judgement request submitted by Franklin County.

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