OGDEN -- All seven judges in 2nd District Court in Ogden have recused themselves from hearing a sheriff deputy's lawsuit against Weber County, which moves the suit to Davis County.
Sgt. Teresa Perkins is suing her employer, alleging retaliation against her and others for supporting a losing candidate in last year's sheriff's election campaign and for reporting a higher-up's alleged misdeeds.
She seeks $500,000 in damages for claims of constitutional violations and emotional distress and injury.
In a one-page order, Judge Scott Hadley, assigned the lawsuit after it was filed Oct. 27, wrote that he and the other 2nd District Court judges in Weber County "are recused from this case for any future proceedings, under the Judicial Ethics Opinion 96-2, as they are familiar with many of the parties in this case."
County sheriffs, by law, provide bailiffs and other officers for security and transport of prisoners from jail to the district courts.
Hadley's order reassigns the suit to 2nd District Court Judge David M. Connors in Davis County.
David Bert Havas, Perkins' lawyer, didn't ask for the recusal but said it wasn't unexpected. The case is pending without a trial date, and he expects the county's response to be filed soon.
The suit alleges that 19 sheriff's office employees who supported Capt. Brett Haycock in his 2010 campaign for sheriff were either transferred or reprimanded.
Haycock lost to now-Sheriff Terry Thompson at the Republican convention.
The alleged retaliation began after last year's convention, while then-Sheriff Brad Slater was still in office, according to the lawsuit.
The suit refers to numerous fellow officers by name as knowing about the retaliation allegations involving Perkins and 18 others.
Havas said the other 18 are not included as plaintiffs and Perkins is the sole plaintiff because the complaint is not meant as a class action lawsuit.
Havas said he is not sure how many will cooperate as witnesses in the suit.
"Some will, some won't, depending on the pressure they may be under," he said. "I haven't spoken to all of them yet, but I have no reason to believe they won't reiterate what my client has said."
Depositions are still to come, Havas said, which likely would take a year, leading to a 2013 trial date at the earliest.
The suit also alleges retaliation against Perkins for reporting an alleged violation by then-Capt. Klint Anderson, now one of Thompson's chief deputies.
The suit claims that, in 2009, Anderson tried to force his way into a Morgan County home where he had installed cabinets as part of his side business.
He had hoped to recover the cabinets before the home's foreclosure was complete, but fell off the roof, injuring his back.
Perkins mentioned the incident to an FBI agent friend in a grocery store, according to the suit, and after discussing the matter with Undersheriff Kevin McCleod, Perkins was briefly placed on administrative leave.