Jury awards former UO public safety officer $755K in retaliation - KPTV - FOX 12

Jury awards former UO public safety officer $755K in retaliation suit

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A jury has awarded $755,000 to a former University of Oregon public safety officer. James Cleavenger filed a lawsuit against the department back in 2013. He claimed he was wrongfully fired after reporting problems in the department, including supervisors making an offensive list about workers. On Friday, a jury sided with Cleavenger.

The jury found the University Police Chief violated Cleavenger's First Amendment rights by retaliating against him for speaking negatively about the department.

Cleavenger said he is happy with what the outcome means for other officers who may find themselves in similar situations.

"That's what kept me going these past three years, because at the time I wanted to give up," he said. "Because the pressure was immense, the loss of sleep was immense, but that kept me going because I have a lot of friends in law enforcement that I work with today and I wanted to make sure that this didn't happen to them."

FOX 12 reached out to the University of Oregon for comment, but has not heard back.

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