Ex-sheriff's captain files suit

Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 3:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 3:13 p.m.

A lawsuit is pending in local courts over the demotion of a former captain with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

Lt. James Troiano filed a lawsuit in Alachua County civil court last month seeking a review of a report, which the complaint described as a “disciplinary investigation,” that led to his demotion in November.

Troiano, who has been with the law enforcement agency since 1988, alleges the investigation and his demotion violated his rights as a law enforcement officer as provided in state law. Troiano also claims that Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell denied him his right to have a board, made up of other officers, review his demotion.

Darnell would not comment on the situation Wednesday, citing that the matter is pending in court.

In a written response to Troiano's attorney, Gloria Fletcher, about a review, filed in the court record, Darnell said state law provides for an appeals board regarding “personnel actions brought under office rules or policies.”

The sheriff wrote that her decision to demote Troiano was not for disciplinary reasons but for his refusal to follow a plan to improve his management skills. Since captains are discretionary appointees at the agency, she said she was within her rights to demote a captain unwilling to follow her management philosophy.

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