Jury awards $139K to fired Genesee Co. deputy

Associated Press

Flint — A jury has awarded $139,000 to a fired Genesee County sheriff’s deputy in a whistleblower’s lawsuit.

Joe Boulton said he was demoted, stripped of his police certification and suspended following testimony he gave in an arbitration hearing in 2012 that was unfavorable toward Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell and his staff. He was fired in 2013.

The Flint Journal reports the jury made the award Tuesday after a two-week trial, but didn’t give Boulton money for his sexual harassment allegations.

Boulton’s attorney Scott Batey says the verdict shows the sheriff’s administration “will go after anybody who disagrees with them.”

Pickell says, however, the jury’s award was for much less than Boulton was seeking and justified his department’s actions. Pickell says: “It’s a total victory as far as I’m concerned.”