Ex-deputy accuses King County sheriff of discrimination

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King County Sheriff John Urquhart (Photo: KCPQ/Seattle)

SEATTLE (AP) — A former longtime deputy has filed a lawsuit accusing King County Sheriff John Urquhart of discriminating against female officers.

The Seattle Times reports (https://goo.gl/UkYxgq ) the lawsuit was filed Monday by 56-year-old Andrea Alexander, a gay black woman who claims Urquhart illegally fired her.

The suit claims the sheriff unfairly subjected her to an internal investigation in 2013 after department officials discovered she’d been mistakenly overpaid.

The suit also contends the investigation was a means for Urquhart to fire Alexander on a drummed up dishonesty violation after she protested her removal from an assignment.

An arbitrator later found Alexander had been dishonest, but that her discipline wasn’t reasonable.

Urquhart defended his firing of Alexander as appropriate in a statement Wednesday, saying Alexander took money for an extended period of time while knowing she was not entitled to it.