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Human Rights Bureau rules against former undersheriff

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MISSOULA, Mont. - The Montana Human Rights Bureau has denied a former Missoula County undersheriff's claim that he was discriminated against when he was reassigned after a new sheriff was elected.

A hearings examiner initially found in favor of Josh Clark, but after a three-day hearing, the bureau reversed that ruling.

Clark filed the complaint in September 2015 saying he was retaliated against by being moved to a night patrol shift because he ran against McDermott for sheriff. The county argued the move was legal because Clark retained his salary and seniority.

Hearing officer Caroline Holien said it's not unreasonable for Sheriff T.J. McDermott to think that Clark could not or would not serve faithfully as a captain in his administration after the contentious election.

Clark worked three night shifts before resigning. His attorney, Nicole Siefert, said Tuesday he plans to appeal the ruling.

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