DuPage sheriff punished deputy for not donating to campaign - FOX 32 News Chicago

Suit: DuPage sheriff punished deputy for not donating to campaign

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A DuPage County deputy is suing his bosses, claiming they have stalled his career in retaliation for his union activity and refusal to contribute cash to Sheriff John Zaruba's political campaign fund.

Deputy Peter Coolidge claims Zaruba and DuPage Chief Al Angus have passed him over for promotions and denied his requests for transfers because Coolidge has pushed for deputies' collective bargaining rights during his 16 years as a deputy, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

The suit, which also names DuPage County as a defendant, alleges the "humiliating" treatment is an ongoing punishment for not donating money to Zaruba's campaign fund.

A spokesperson for the DuPage County Sheriff's office could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday evening.

Zaruba was sued in November 2013 by seven other DuPage County deputies who also said their careers were stalled in retaliation for their union activity and refusal to give cash to the sheriff's political fund, the Chicago-Sun-Times reported at the time. That lawsuit is still pending in federal court, with a status hearing scheduled for June 11.

Coolidge claims Zaruba and Angus violated his First Amendment rights by punishing him for associating with the union and refusing to donate money to the campaign.

The five-count suit seeks an unspecified amount of money in compensatory damages and court costs.

--Contact: Atty. Kenneth C. Apicella, (847) 934-6000

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