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News - Retaliation Alleged Against Sheriff Newhart of Chesapeake, Virginia

February 26, 2007 – Suit filed in the United States District Court in Norfolk, Virginia alleging violation of Title VII and First Amendment to the United States Constitution, seeking to hold Sheriff of Chesapeake, Virginia accountable to the law he is sworn to uphold.

On February 26, 2007, David Cahoon, filed suit against Sheriff Newhart of Chesapeake, Virginia alleging retaliation in violation of Title VII and of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.  After 21 years of faithful service, David Cahoon was one of only two Sheriff’s deputies not re-appointed when Sheriff Newhart was re-elected to serve a new term beginning January 1, 2006.  David Cahoon had been subpoenaed as a witness in a civil rights suit by Tony Ellis, a Black deputy alleging, among other things racial discrimination in violation of Title VII.  David Cahoon had made it clear that he would answer truthfully any questions put to him as a witness.  Although Tony Ellis lost his Title VII case before David Cahoon was called as a witness, Sheriff Newhart failed to continue the service of only two deputies – David Cahoon and Tony Ellis.  David Cahoon was not reappointed despite having received a “Outstanding” performance evaluation only a few months before this incident.  The suit follows the determination by the Equal Employment Commission for the United States of America that found “Based on the evidence of record there is reasonable cause to believe that the Charging Party [David Cahoon] was subjected to retaliatory discharge (or denied reappointment) in retaliation for having participated in a protected activity.”  Title VII prohibits retaliation against individuals who oppose discrimination or who participate in the legal proceedings of a Title VII claim.

Copy of lawsuit (pdf 596 kb)
Cahoon v. Newhart, Sheriff of the City of Chesapeake, Virginia et al., 2:07cv87, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division on 2/26/2007

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