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DuPage County deputy sues sheriff over claims of political retribution

Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6:21 p.m. CST

A 17-year veteran DuPage County Sheriff's Office deputy has filed a law suit against Sheriff John Zaruba, claiming he was denied a transfer because he pushed for more collective bargaining rights and refused to donate to Zaruba's political campaign.

Deputy Peter Coolidge named Zaruba and DuPage County Sheriff's Office Chief Al Angus as defendants in the suit he filed in the U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois on March 6, according to the court website.

Coolidge has been a deputy since September 1996, the suit said, when he started in the Corrections Bureau. He moved to the Patrol Division in 2002, then went back to Corrections in 2008.

He believes he was denied a transfer back to Patrol in 2012 as retaliation for his unwillingness to contribute to Zaruba's campaign fund and for demanding more collective bargaining rights for Sheriff's Office employees, according to the suit.

The retaliation, which "continues to this day," violates his constitutional rights, caused him to lose career opportunities and damaged his reputation, the suit said.

DuPage County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Paul Darrah declined to discuss the pending litigation. The Sheriff's Office did not respond to requests for comment.

Coolidge's attorney also opted not to make a statement on the ongoing law suit.

The suit follows accusations of similar actions on the part of Zaruba made by seven deputies in November.

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