ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - A former deputy has received a payout after he claimed he was wrongfully terminated and defamed.
Attorneys filed the lawsuit in December 2017, on behalf of Jerome Felder, a former employee of the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office. Felder joined the sheriff's office in 1991 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
The lawsuit named the Orangeburg County government and the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office as defendants.
In June 2016 according to the lawsuit, a woman filed a complaint against Felder, stating that he told her to "shut up" during a telephone conversation.
In August 2016, Felder’s lawsuit shows they met with the woman identified only by the initials “RP” in the documents, and that she denied any such incident had occurred. Still several days later, Felder was placed on unpaid suspension for five days.
Felder says shortly after that, he was demoted from a sergeant to a deputy, and his salary was decreased by approximately $4000 per year.
In January 2017, the lawsuit states Sheriff Leroy Ravenell fired Felder.
The lawsuit alleged wrongful termination in violation of public policy and defamation. Felder was paid $25,000.