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Deal allows sheriff’s office to keep insurance

The Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office will pay a higher deductible in order to keep its government insurance coverage in the wake of employee complaints against Sheriff Joe Rodriguez.

The Lewiston Tribune reports Nez Perce County Prosecutor Justin Colmean said the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program threatened to pull coverage of the sheriff’s office unless specific recommendations were followed, including the higher deductibles.

Coleman said the insurance agency had seen two previous complaints against Rodriguez and heard of four potential complaints from other employees. Two complaints were made to the Idaho Human Rights Commission in 2018; one employee claimed Rodriguez sexually harassed him; and another employee claimed Rodriguez created a hostile work environment.

Officials declined to comment on the nature of the four potential complaints, none of which have been filed.

Rodriguez said he would hold off on buying two new patrol cars, instead holding the budgeted $75,000 to pay off the deductible should the employee complaints materialize.

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