Federal court dismisses case against Sullivan County over firing of black deputy


MONTICELLO – A federal suit against
Sullivan County and Sheriff Michael Schiff by a former deputy sheriff,
who claims he fired because he is African-American, has been dismissed
by a federal court judge.

Donald Buckner, Jr. was among 34 deputies who were randomly tested for
drug use in June 2007. He was found to have drugs in his system and was
terminated by Schiff after an impartial hearing officer concluded he had
violated the county’s drug policy and recommended his termination.

As a result, Buckner filed a lawsuit claiming he was discriminated against
because of his race.

Among his arguments were claims of other sheriff’s personnel who
reportedly tested positive for drug use but were not terminated. But,
US District Court Justice Cathy Seidel ruled all of those arguments to
be hearsay with no proof to back them up.

As a result, she granted the county’s motion for summary judgment
to dismiss the charges.


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