Nez Perce County Commissioners and Prosecutor Justin Coleman issued a joint news release Wednesday providing details about allegations that Sheriff Joe Rodriguez shared employees’ confidential information with the anonymous Facebook page LC Valley Corruption.
According to the news release, signed by Board Chairman Don Beck, commissioners Douglas Havens and Douglas Zenner, and Coleman, the content disclosed by Sheriff Rodriguez involved information contained in several of his employee’s personnel files which created potential liability issues for the county. Commissioners also say the disclosure caused a direct conflict in representation by the Prosecutor between Sheriff, the Board of County Commissioners and the County at large.
The commissioners also released a copy of a letter they received this week from Idaho Counties Risk Management Program Executive Director Timothy Osborne, announcing a deductible structure for employment practices claims against the sheriff’s office.
The agency threatened to pull coverage for the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office in the summer of 2019, but instead a new deductible plan was created for any new claim. That plan started Oct. 1st, 2019, and recently expired. Under the previous plan, the deductibles could be waived if the sheriff consulted and followed the advice provided by the Risk Management Program, but no waiver option is included in the new policy.
Coleman informed the commissioners of the issues and legal ramifications surrounding his decision to terminate county representation of Rodriguez before issuing a formal letter late last week.
The commissioners plan to review the county’s options on legal service for the sheriff going forward. (Lewiston Tribune)