Thursday, August 25, 2011

Former Candidate for Adams County Sheriff - Nicastle awarded settlement and early retirement…

Mark Nicastle
Last May a jury found in favor of Mark Nicastle, a soon to be former employee of the Adams County Sheriff’s Department. Nicastle, in 2006, was running for Adams County Sheriff against Sheriff Doug Darr, the current sheriff who was running for his third term. Darr won the election and Nicastle lost.

Nicastle then filed a suit accusing Darr of violating his first amendment rights and interfering with his opportunities to campaign. Darr denies the allegations and said that as sheriff he always had someone who would run against him in every election.

The jury believed Nicastle and along with US District Judge Robert Blackburn awarded sums of $99,000 for “pain and suffering”, $24,600 in back pay, $1 in punitive damages. Nicastle is required to resign from the force as part of the settlement agreement on August 31, 2011.

Back pay, reinstatement of rank and a possibility of front pay for his expected remaining years of employment with the Sheriff Department were left for the U.S. court to decide. The court awarded Nicastle $250,000 to be paid by Adams County and $480,000 to be paid by Adams County’s insurance provider. The total payment covers the already awarded pain and suffering and back pay issues as well as front pay. In addition, Adams County will need to pay into Nicastle’s retirement fund at the lieutenant rank, the rank Nicastle held before being wrongfully demoted to sergeant in 2009.

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