Former sheriff's reserve deputy files tort claim against office
A former reserve deputy with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office has filed a tort claim notice against the office after his work with the reserve program was terminated earlier this year.
Tyler Miller, 34, of Scappoose, filed a tort claim notice against CCSO on Dec. 21 alleging his termination from the reserve deputy program caused damage to his reputation, potential business clients of his software company, Miller Mendel, and caused him emotional distress.
Earlier this year Miller, who worked as a subcontractor on a radio communications project with Columbia 911 Communications District, filed a complaint against the former executive director, Steve Watson, alleging sexual harassment of another 911 employee. The complaints were investigated and ultimately proven to be supported, but the district's legal counsel, Bullard Law, pursued a secondary in-
vestigation into Miller's motives for filing the complaint.
The results of those investigative reports asserted that Miller was aware of allegations of sexual harassment for more than a year before reporting them, and he only brought them forward to retain a job or some scope of work with the district after Watson had suggested to the board of directors that it terminate its working relationship with Miller.
An Oregon State Police criminal investigation into Miller's motives began shortly after the Bullard Law investigation, and Miller was suspended from his position with the CCSO reserve deputy program in April while the investigation was ongoing. He was terminated from the program in August.
Sheriff Jeff Dickerson declined to comment on the tort claim, but confirmed Miller is no longer deputized as a reserve deputy and was terminated from the program on Aug. 21.
Dickerson also declined comment on why Miller's
status was changed from suspension to termination.
Miller had served as a volunteer reserve deputy since November 2011.
Miller is represented by Portland-based attorney John Ostrander of Elliot Ostrander and Preston PC law firm, according to the CCSO tort notice.
Ostrander asserts in the notice that Miller's termination from the reserve
program caused harm to Miller and his reputation and he has rights to claim re-
lief under state and federal law.
The letter filed with CCSO also cites a tort notice that was filed with the Columbia 911 Communications District board of directors in early November.
Miller has filed two tort claim notices against that board since May.