TOPEKA, Kan. (CN) – A sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a dog while on duty should not have been reassigned to the same sheriff’s department, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled.
Deputy David Freeman was bitten by a dog, and the owner refused to help him. Freeman responded by shooting the dog, causing injuries so severe that the dog had to be euthanized.
But the bitten deputy suffered only minor injuries that did not require a trip to the hospital.
Sheriff David Zoellner fired Freeman for violating department policy. Freeman appealed to the Leavenworth County civil service board, which transferred him to a “comparable position in the Jail Division.”
Judge Marquardt affirmed the district court’s ruling that the board had improperly placed Freeman in a different section of the same sheriff’s department.
The district court found that the law’s provision for Freeman to go to a different department means a “law enforcement office completely separate and apart from the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office.”
The appeals court reversed the board’s order to transfer Freeman to a different county, saying the board lacked the authority to do so.