Fired Deputy Files Suit Against Sheriff McDermott – County Attorney – Human Resources Director
Fired Missoula County Deputy Paige Pavalone has filed a lawsuit in Lewis and Clark County District Court against Sheriff T.J. McDermott, County Attorney KIrsten Pabst and County Human Resources Director Patty Baumgart.
In the complaint filed late Wednesday afternoon, Pavalone, through her attorney Josh Van De Wetering, alleges that she has been the victim of wrongful termination by Sheriff T.J. McDermott, wrongful discharge, discrimination on the basis of sex, tortious interference with employment due to publication of a letter, libel and negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In the 41 page document, Pavalone states;
"Since taking over the office on January 1, 2015, following his election on November 7,2014, Sheriff McDermott with his hand-picked subordinates, has engaged in an ongoing practice of rewarding his political supporters and punishing his political opponents. He has accomplished this by providing jobs and other perks to his supporters and has punished his opponents by demoting and ostracizing them , reassigning them to undesirable and/or peripheral assignments, and otherwise made their work environments unbearable."
"The complainant in this case, Paige Pavalone, is the only woman in the group and has fared far worse than even Sheriff McDermott's other political opponents. Ms. Pavalone, previously a deputy sheriff, in addition to being removed from a desirable assignment and being ostracized and singled out for unfair criticism, has been unjustly accused by the sheriff and his underlings of three separate crimes, suspended from her job, and most recently fired, and with the publication of a false and harmful letter about her. The reasons given for all formal actions taken against her are specious; no reasons have been given for the informal abuses."
At the close of the document, Pavalone asks the court for;
"Damages in an amount to be proven at trial, reasonable attorney's fees and costs, costs of the suit, and such other relief that this court may deem just."
The suit was filed in Lewis and Clark District Court instead of Missoula District Court. Pavalone's attorney told KGVO News had no comment, in that he 'did not wish to try his case in the media'.
A call to Steven Carey, who is representing the defendants in the lawsuit, has not yet been returned.