Commissioners approve $85K settlement for Sheriff Held lawsuit
Westmoreland County commissioners on Thursday approved the latest payment to settle a discrimination lawsuit against the county and Sheriff Jonathan Held.
They agreed to pay part-time sheriff’s Deputy Jonathon Sutton $85,000 to settle the lawsuit, which he filed in March 2018 in the U.S. District Court for Western Pennsylvania.
Sutton, a Marine Corps military policeman and reservist in North Versailles, filed the suit claiming he was repeatedly passed over for promotions since 2016 because of his service commitments.
It was one of three lawsuits based on military status discrimination that had been filed against the sheriff in 2018.
Held denied the charges and expressed frustration with commissioners’ policy of paying out-of-court settlements — a policy he said was keeping all the facts from coming out.
“This trend of handing out money is disturbing, as not one allegation in all of these cases has been verified under oath or with evidence,” Held said.
Commissioners declined comment on the settlement on Thursday.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .