Matthew Manuel sues Culpeper County sheriff's office over alleged wrongful termination

CULPEPER, Va. (AP) - A former Culpeper County deputy says he was fired in retaliation for reporting another deputy's assault of an inmate.

The Star-Exponent reports that Matthew Scott Manuel has filed a $300,000 wrongful termination lawsuit against the county sheriff's office, a former sheriff and a former jailer.

Manuel was one of five deputies fired in 2011 following allegations that former Deputy Alma Julia Brown slapped a restrained female inmate at the Culpeper County Jail. Both Brown and the inmate were found guilty of assault charges stemming from the incident in November 2011.

The sheriff's office's attorney, James M. Bowling, asked the Culpeper County Circuit Court to dismiss the lawsuit. He says the sheriff's office can't be sued because it's not an independent legal entity under Virginia law.