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Former deputies awarded wrongful termination settlement

Posted: November 18, 2010 5:08 p.m.
Updated: November 19, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Two Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies who were fired following the Republican primary election in June -- allegedly for failing to back Capt. David Thomley in the election -- were paid approximately $50,000 each from the S.C. Association of Counties (SCAC) Properties and Liabilities Trust, according to County Administrator Clay Young.

Young said the SCAC claims agent has the authority to settle the case without involving the county directly.

“They (the insurance company) will contact me when it’s settled, but they have the latitude to settle,” said Young. “After they received their payment, that’s the end of the case.”

Tick Wilson and Jim Miller were  fired from the KCSO in June by retiring Sheriff Steve McCaskill, who endorsed Thomley as his successor. The men told media outlets they were fired because they were supporters of one of Thomley’s opponents or because they refused to say which candidate they supported.

The two men each brought a case of wrongful termination against the county.

John Jervey, an insurance claims manager with the SCAC, wouldn’t specify the amount of the settlement per SCAC policy, but said $50,000 was “in the ballpark.”

Miller and Wilson both were represented by attorneys in the case. The attorneys dealt directly with the SCAC, Jervey said.

“All cases are different, but SCAC will typically evaluate the case, determine if there’s a real liability, and if there is, determine what we see as a fair settlement for the case,” Jervey said.

Kershaw County pays approximately $425,000 per year to the trust for numerous liabilities, according to Young.

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