BY BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
A lawsuit alleging Deschutes County failed to apply veteran preference points when considering a deputy’s request to change jobs has been settled.
The plaintiff, a current sheriff’s office employee and an Iraq War veteran, received $22,000 in the settlement.
David Crump has worked 16 years as a corrections deputy in the Deschutes County Jail.
In 2017 he applied for a patrol deputy position which would have amounted to a lateral move with similar pay.
Crump served seven years in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, including a year in Iraq during the second Gulf War where he sustained shoulder injuries and hearing loss. He filed suit against Deschutes County after learning he was not awarded veterans preference points on his job application.
“I’m not saying that I’m better than anybody else. I’m not saying I deserved a promotion. I’m not saying any of that. But what I am saying is it was all about the veterans preference points,” Crump said. “It’s about the fact that I was in the Army. I fought for my country. I got hurt for my country. And I think, as veteran, and for all the veterans out there, I deserve those veterans points. I don’t think I should have to fill out some form.
According to state law, 10 preference points should have been added to Crump’s application – five for being a veteran, five more for being a disabled veteran.
In this particular lawsuit, it was about what Deschutes County Human Resources did or failed to do.
Sheriff Shane Nelson says the $22,000 settlement took place between Deschutes County and Crump, not the sheriffs’ office.
“The sheriff’s office pays indirect fees to Deschutes County Human Resources to handle the initial application process in hiring,” Nelson said. “In this particular instance, Deschutes County Human Resources did not determine that Mr. Crump would get veteran preference points. Therefor, no veterans preference points were applied. When I found out they required a form in order to get veteran preference points, I had them stop using that form in our processes.”
Nelson says even if the veteran preference points had been applied, Crump would not have been selected to be a patrol deputy because he didn’t pass all parts of the application process. Nelson also says there were other, better-qualified applicants.
Despite it all, the sheriff and the deputy say they can continue working together.
“Mr. Crump still retains special assignments here. He still has the same pay. I see him often. He’s always pleasant and cordial. And we have a good working relationship,” Nelson said.
“I work with great people. I’m not taking anything from the people that got hired over me. This is not about me trying to be vindictive about not getting a promotion because it’s not,” he said. “It’s plain and simple fact I should have gotten my veterans preference points.”