A sergeant with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office is suing the department, with a 70-page lawsuit outlining allegations of improper arrests, illegal seizures, false record-keeping, sexual misconduct and racially-motivated behavior.
Kevin Murphy claims that the department is violating the state’s whistleblower act and also violating his right to freedom of speech.
The lawsuit states that after reporting alleged wrongdoings, other deputies retaliated against Murphy. Court documents claim he was denied promotions, duties were taken away and he was forced to work at a location further from his home.
We spoke with Gerald Raymond, a lawyer at Tully Rinckey, who says this is a wide-ranging lawsuit not only alleging negligence within the department, but also that people there acted intentionally.
“You have to go a step further. Negligence means you weren’t careful enough, but if you are alleged to commit what we could call an intentional tort, you have to show that somebody deliberately tried to, that there were also allegations of conspiracy to inflict stress on him,” Raymond said.
Lawyers at Tully Rinckey say proving there was intention would require concrete evidence.
We reached out to Murphy’s lawyer who would not share details about the lawsuit. We also contacted County representatives and the County’s Law Office, but they would not comment on pending litigation.