Protest targets local sheriff - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Protest targets local sheriff

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(08/02/12) - The firing of a sheriff's deputy, who's also a military veteran, led to a protest in Bay County Thursday morning.

Jason Holsapple worked for the Bay County Sheriff's office until he was let go in March. Thursday's protest was directed at current sheriff John Miller.

Central figures point to politics as the cause of the dispute. Protesters held signs high in front of the Bay County Sheriff's Office.

Jason Holsapple has already filed suit in Bay County Circuit court alleging Miller fired him for supporting Robert "Bobby" Lee, who is running against Miller in the sheriff's race.

In April, Holsapple's attorneys said Miller violated state law in firing him.

They said a veteran can only be removed for official misconduct; a felony conviction or other specific reasons and claimed Miller's action was not justified.

"I have three honorable discharges. All non-commissioned officers, and I served with honor and I go out of my way to hire veterans. This is a cheap political trick," Miller said.

Miller argues that this is all designed to hurt his campaign.

"There's no doubt in my mind it's all politically motivated. It's a thing by them to discredit me," Miller said.

Miller says Holsapple was on probationary status and he could be let go for any reason or for no reason, but he didn't say why he fired the deputy.

"We want to know why," Heinz said.

ABC12 did speak to Jason Holsapple by phone Thursday, but he declined to give an on-camera interview.

His attorneys did not return our phone calls.

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