Ward County will have a local doctor assess a sheriff’s deputy who says he’s not being allowed to work and get paid.
The county commission’s personnel committee heard the grievance of Deputy Timothy Poston.
Deputy Poston claims he’s being kept from working while taking prescription drugs, in violation of the county’s employment policies.
He says the sheriff’s department is not allowing him to do light duty work while on a medication that has side effects that prevent him from driving.
The county has requested a letter from Poston’s doctor – who is in Canada – saying Poston is able to perform all duties of a deputy while taking the prescribed medication in order to be allowed back on active duty.
The doctor has not sent that letter, and Poston has been on unpaid leave since late November.
Poston phoned a Washington state man as an advocate for him at the hearing.
Larry Hellie said the county should take action to end the complaint, while the county’s attorney said there were narrow questions involved in the grievance.
(Voice of: Larry Hellie, Advocate for Poston) “I think Mr. Poston ought to be made whole. You ought to make him an offer for some kind of severance deal and get this out of the way.”
(Howard Swanson, Attorney for Ward County) “The focus of what’s before you today is whether or not the actions of the sheriff are appropriate and whether or not the deputy provided any information in writing to indicate that he can perform the essential functions.”
In the end, the personnel committee ordered an independent doctor’s evaluation of possible side effects of Poston’s medication.
Poston asked to be paid for the time he’s been put on leave, but the committee said that decision would have to be made by the full county commission next week.
Poston, a Canadian citizen, has previously accused the sheriff of an anti-Canadian bias, and charged the state’s attorney with sexual harrassment,