Veteran’s lawsuit against Forsyth County sheriff settled for $96K

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Forsyth County Sheriff Bill Schatzman (WGHP)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Forsyth County commissioners on Monday unanimously approved paying a former sheriff’s deputy and Iraq War veteran $96,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that Sheriff Bill Schatzman broke federal law by firing him less than a year after he returned from serving in Iraq, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The Journal reports Schatzman and county officials will not admit any wrongdoing in the firing of former Sgt. Michael T. Russell as part of the settlement.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed the lawsuit June 7 in U.S. District Court on behalf of Russell.  It alleged Schatzman fired Russell in November 2010 after Russell bought $100 in tickets for a motorcycle raffle organized by Dave Griffith, who was running against Schatzman for sheriff, the paper reports.

Russell claimed he just wanted to win the motorcycle and was never told buying the tickets would get him fired.

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