BAY COUNTY (WJRT) -
(05/09/14) - A lawsuit between the Bay County Sheriff's Department and a former deputy has been settled to the tune of nearly half a million dollars.
Jason Holsapple says he was fired from the sheriff's department, in 2012, because he supported Sheriff John Miller's opponent during the election.
The court awarded him a large settlement.
Holsapple served in the Marines from 2001 to 2005, did a tour of duty in Iraq, and then got a job with the Bay County Sheriff's Department in 2011, but was fired the next year.
Holsapple is very happy with the $480,000 settlement that has been agreed to in a federal lawsuit, after Holsapple sued Bay County and Sheriff John Miller.
"As far as my performance went, I never received any discipline at the department, not a write up, before being fired," Holsapple said.
As part of the settlement, there is no admission of guilt by any party in the lawsuit.
"I think it looks like it's enough that they didn't just give me anything just to walk away, I think it sends the message that I was done wrong, and it had to be made right and I hope people in the future don't have to go through that," Holsapple said. Tim Quinn, Bay County's director of Personnel and Employee Relations & Corporation Counsel issued a statement, in part, saying, "Had the Board rejected this settlement, the County would have spent money over and above its self-insured retention, sometimes called a deductible, for additional attorney fees and a portion of any potential jury verdict. By approving this settlement, amounts over the County's self-insured retention will be paid by MMRMA."
MMRMA is the county's insurance company.
Holsapple says it's possible he might want to work for the Bay County Sheriff's department again, but the settlement calls for that to happen only when Miller's 2016 term is over.
Could Holsapple run against Miller in the next election?
"Maybe, why not?" Holsapple said.
ABC12 talked with Bay County Sheriff John Miller, Friday.
His only comment on the settlement is that the insurance company made the decision to settle.