Sheriff Shane Nelson testifies against former deputy Kozowski in $3.4M suit


Sheriff Shane Nelson of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office testified in U.S. District Court in Eugene Tuesday regarding a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Former Deputy Erik Kozowski filed the 3.4 million dollar suit in 2018, in which he alleged Nelson and the department retaliated against him after he challenged Nelson for the office in 2016.

Kozowski was placed on administrative leave in September 2017 after allegations from 2010 and 2016 surfaced regarding missed paperwork and a failed arrest.

He called on Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel to appear in court with his review of the case.

“One of the bases for Sheriff Nelson terminating Kozowski is that he allegedly lied,” Hummel said. “Kozowski wanted to say ‘well, hey, D.A. Hummel reviewed that allegation and determined I hadn’t lied.’ And so he subpoenaed me, I came and just discussed the investigation I had done, the review, and my conclusions.” 

Another investigation by the department found Kozowski broke campaign rules by wearing his uniform to campaign events.




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