A lawsuit filed against the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office by a former employee has been scheduled to continue with proceedings next year, after a scheduling conference that took place last month.
The complaint, filed Feb. 8 by former Blaine County employee Gregory Sage, states that Sage worked off and on for the Sheriff’s Office in different capacities and in 2010 became a jail administrator at the Blaine County Correctional Facility. It was in that role that he claims he experienced a traumatic event that left him with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.
According to the complaint, Sage witnessed an inmate at the jail commit suicide by jumping off a second-story railing and landing just a few yards in front of Sage headfirst, cracking his skull and dying in 2017. According to a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, no such incident occurred in 2017, though an incident of that description did occur in 2014, as reported by the Idaho Mountain Express on June 18, 2014.
“At no point did [the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office] or its agents instruct, suggest or request Plaintiff speak to a mental health professional despite knowing the significant mental and emotional toll this had on him,” the complaint states. “Rather, the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office ignored the traumatic event and went back to business as usual.”
The complaint alleges that Sage began experiencing symptoms of “severe depression that adversely affected several cognitive functions,” including simple tasks such as clocking out at the end of his shift. Soon after, he was allegedly accused by an undersheriff of intentionally failing to clock out, the complaint states. He was placed on administrative leave and ultimately asked to resign, which he did in 2017, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office said via email that Sage was hired by the department in 1990, resigned in 2005, returned in July 2010 and resigned on Feb. 9, 2017.
The case is now scheduled for a pretrial conference on Aug. 24, 2020, and a trial on Sept. 15, 2020.