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Deputy sues Sheriff Moore for forcing him to write self ticket

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POSTED June 15, 2012 2:27 a.m.

The San Joaquin Deputy Sheriff’s Association and Deputy Sheriff Kim Poeun have filed suit in federal court against the County of San Joaquin and Sheriff Steve Moore over an alleged violation by the sheriff in September of Poeun’s civil rights.

According to a press release from Mastagni, Holstedt, Amick, Miller & Johnsen, a Professional Corporation, the lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties, and attorney fees arising from the sheriff forcing Poeun to write himself a traffic ticket and interrogating him in violation of his constitutional rights and his rights under the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act.

According to the prepared statement from the law office, the sheriff on Sept. 30, 2011, followed Poeun to work where he took the deputy’s personal car keys and accused him of committing several traffic violations. He questioned Poeun and later ordered him to write himself a traffic ticket. The sheriff, according to the press release, deprived the deputy of his keys for several hours and questioned him about the alleged violations despite laws prohibiting those actions.

Sheriff Moore has treated other deputies in a similar fashion, the statement further goes on to say. The Deputy Sheriffs’ Association is seeking an injunction as part of the lawsuit to prevent the situation from recurring.

“The sheriff’s actions violated the very laws we are all sworn to uphold,” said DSA president Robert Foppiano, Jr. “We brought this action to enforce the same constitutional due process rights that apply to every citizen – including deputy sheriffs,” Foppiano said.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. Sheriff Moore and San Joaquin County have been served with the lawsuit but have not yet responded.

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