$2M claim by fired Placer County sergeant

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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A potential court battle is brewing over the firing of an ex-Placer County Sheriff’s Office jail sergeant.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to reject a personal injury claim for $2 million by Megan Yaws.

In April, a Placer County judge dropped charges against Yaws after a preliminary hearing involving her and two other former Sheriff’s Office employees. The hearing followed arrests and charges against Yaws and the two others — ex-deputy Robert Madden and ex-correctional officer Jeffrey Villanueva — in connection with four inmate beatings in late 2015 and early 2016.

The other two’s cases were allowed to go forward to possible trial.

Yaws’ case could now land in civil court, with a lawsuit claiming false arrest and personal injury.

The Sheriff’s Office has disputed the April decision and has stood by the firing. After the judge’s ruling, the Sheriff’s Office issued a statement saying that an internal investigation found that Yaws’ behavior did not meet expected standards.

Jonathan Gonzales, Yaws’ attorney, said he’s waiting for official word from Placer County that the injury claim had been rejected. The decision Tuesday was on the agenda as a consent item and was rejected without comment by any of the supervisors present.

“After that we have six months to file a formal complaint in superior court,” Gonzales said.

A letter accompanying the claim stated that the arrest and subsequent actions by the county defamed Yaws and ruined her career in law enforcement.

“Her career is down the drain,” Gonzales said.