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Judge throws out political retaliation lawsuit

Judge throws out political retaliation lawsuit



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by five officers who say they were demoted and their free speech rights were violated because they supported the Sevier County sheriff's opponent in a 2006 primary election.

The officers said they were targeted for retaliation and lost supervisory positions after supporting Sheriff Phil Barney's opponent, who lost, in the 2006 Republican primary.

Their suit named Barney and the sheriff's office and sought millions of dollars in damages.

U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins ruled this week that three of the officers had no constitutional right to keep a certain position in the office.

Jenkins, in an earlier decision, had already thrown out claims of retaliation and constitutional violations made by two other officers.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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