YOLO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A former Yolo County Sheriff’s sergeant has settled a lawsuit with the county costing them $350,000.
The lawsuit comes after he sued them for retaliation. Yolo County has not said much as of Friday, but that former sergeant told FOX40 he was only trying to do the right thing.
“I loved that career. I loved that job,” former Sgt. Dean Nyland said.
For 14 years, Nyland worked at the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, but he said he started noticing things going wrong back in 2014.
“A young female deputy complained to me about being harassed by a fellow sergeant,” Nyland said.
Nyland said his immediate supervisor at the time also admitted to driving drunk on the job and even threatened to harm Nyland.
“After the sheriff left, Sheriff Prieto left, (Captain Hernan) Oviedo came in behind me and said, ‘I should shoot you in the effing head,’” Nyland recalled.
Then in 2017, Nyland notified management that another deputy was having sex with a records clerk inside his patrol unit.
“These types of complaints, there were several of them. Then, I noticed a few issues, so I also submitted a few complaints or memos regarding what I had seen,” Nyland said.
But following his complaints, he said the retaliation began.
“The retaliation started against me,” Nyland said. “I got passed up on promotions. I got passed up on assignments that are generally desired.”
And then, he lost his job.
“I was terminated. I was stripped of my identity,” Nyland said.
Nyland filed this lawsuit in 2020 claiming his reports about the problems inside the sheriff’s office were answered with retaliation. In response, the county decided to settle for $350,000 and declined to admit any wrongdoing.
“I look at that as somewhat of an admission of guilt,” Nyland said.
According to the sheriff’s office policy manual, all forms of harassment and retaliation are prohibited. Nyland said it’s something he wishes they stood by.
“Practice what you preach. The public deserves better,” Nyland said.
The sheriff’s office and county would not interview with FOX40 on this story but said it settled to avoid any further litigation and does not admit to any wrongdoing.
Nyland told FOX40 he wanted to work at least another 2 1/2 years before he was let go from the sheriff’s office.
The county also said it is committed to providing a discrimination and harassment-free workplace.