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Davis County disputes ex-deputy's $1M damages claim

Wednesday , June 27, 2018 - 5:15 AM

FARMINGTON — Davis County has submitted court papers denying a former deputy sheriff’s allegations that officials violated a confidentiality agreement over a disciplinary matter.

Blake Hamilton, a private attorney representing the county, asked 2nd District Judge Michael Allphin to dismiss the suit filed by Clint Shaw, who was disciplined after a SWAT standoff in Centerville in 2012.

RELATED: Ex-SWAT deputy files $1M suit against Davis County over discipline settlement

In documents filed June 21, Hamilton argued Shaw suffered no damages requiring compensation and that the deputy himself was responsible for any harm he experienced.

Shaw’s $1 million suit, filed May 21, accuses the county of violating the terms of a 2013 confidential settlement, which included a $5,000 payment to the deputy.

The suit said Shaw later applied for police jobs in Salt Lake and Summit counties, but he was not hired because disciplinary documents had been placed in his personnel file, contrary to terms of the secrecy agreement.

Shaw was on a SWAT team Feb. 26, 2012, in Centerville that confronted an armed, suicidal man barricaded in an apartment.

After the man emerged from the apartment and officers took him into custody, Shaw left his post nearby, approached the suspect and made “derogatory statements,” according to court records.

Documents said Sheriff Todd Richardson disciplined Shaw because the deputy was “spinning things up with verbal altercations, which resulted in the creation of havoc rather than decompressing the situation.”

In a disciplinary notice to Shaw, Undersheriff Brent Peters said Shaw’s actions agitated the suspect, requiring the arresting officers to use unnecessary force to subdue him.

After a legal battle that warded off Richardson’s move to fire Shaw, the deputy and the county reached the confidentiality agreement.

Shaw resigned his deputy job on June 23, 2016.

The Shaw suit is one of numerous legal headaches for the sheriff’s office and the county in recent years. Other matters include at least two wrongful-death suits over fatalities in the jail; a wave of sexual harassment investigations involving jail personnel; and an investigation into alleged time card fraud.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt and like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/SEMarkShenefelt.

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