Forsyth Co Sheriff, Bill Schatzman
(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Federal lawyers have filed a complaint against Forsyth County Sheriff William Schatzman saying he unfairly fired a deputy less than a year after the officer was deployed to Afghanistan with the Army National Guard.
The Justice Department said Thursday that the county and Schatzman violated a federal law that protects soldiers returning from overseas from being fired from their jobs for a year without just cause.
Federal officials say the Sheriff's Office fired Michael Russell in November 2010 after he bought tickets in a motorcycle raffle that were being sold by Schatzman's opponent for sheriff. The ticket total was $100, the money from the raffle supported the campaign for Sheriff of Dave Griffith.
Thomas Perez, Asst. Attorney General said this about the investigation: "The men and women who wear our nation's uniform need to know that they will be protected from unjust terminations when they return from significant periods of military service."
News 2 reached out to Michael Russel but he's currently deployed in Afghanistan.
We also contacted Sheriff Schatzman and the Forsyth County Attorney on Friday but WFMY has not received a response.
Read the complaint filed by US Dept of Justice
Stay with Digtriad and WFMY News 2 for updates.