Former jail guard to sue Okaloosa County

CRESTVIEW — A former Okaloosa County corrections officer is closer to getting his day in court.

      The Tallahassee-based law firm representing William B. Buttery, 48, of Crestview filed notice with the state Wednesday that Buttery intends to sue the county’s Department of Corrections for, among other things, negligent supervision, negligent investigation, infliction of emotional distress and defamation.

      The lawsuit stems from corrections officials’ decision to fire Buttery on May 9, 2007, after he reportedly used unnecessary force on an inmate.

      Buttery was charged with misdemeanor battery in the incident, but the state attorney’s office declined to prosecute, citing lack of evidence.

      The “notice of intent to initiate litigation” states Buttery suffered damages such as the loss of his job, wages and benefits and his reputation in the community.

      According to a press release from the jail when Buttery was fired, his conduct was a “clear violation of jail policy.”

      However, Buttery’s notice to sue contends he was fired because he complained to supervisors about corrections officers being allowed to keep their own work time sheets.

      Buttery had concluded that thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money were being misspent when jailers logged hours they didn’t work, according to the litigation notice.

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