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Fired deputy files suit over Taser training

April 10, 2009

A former Hamilton County Sheriff's deputy is suing the county's sheriff for firing him last year because he refused to be shocked by a Taser as part of a training session.

Ray Robert filed suit April 7 in federal court in the Indianapolis Division, Ray F. Robert v. Douglas G. Carter, individually and in his capacity of Sheriff of Hamilton County, Ind., Hamilton County Council and Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, No. 1:09-CV-0425, alleging Sheriff Douglas Carter's decision to fire Robert deprived him of his constitutional rights.

Robert joined the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in 1979 and most recently worked as a civil deputy. In November 2008, Carter required all deputies carry Tasers and as a part of their training, each deputy had to be Tased. Robert refused on the advice of his doctor and Carter fired him Dec. 1, 2008. Robert filed a grievance, which was denied at each step of the grievance procedure and ultimately denied by Carter, according to the lawsuit.

Robert claims the requirement he be shocked by the Taser in order to keep his job is arbitrary and without rational basis and that the sheriff doesn't require deputies who carry guns to be shot as a part of their training.

Robert wants his case heard by a jury and is asking for reinstatement, back pay, other compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, attorney fees and costs and any other proper relief.

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