Ex-deputy files discrimination lawsuit against former sheriff and city

A Richmond County sheriff’s deputy who was fired in 2011 in connection with a falsified hit-and-run report has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against former Sheriff Ronnie Strength, the sheriff’s office and the city of Augusta.

Jessie Jackson Jr., of Hephzibah, contends in the lawsuit that his firing was retaliation against him for complaints about discrimination and failure to promote black deputies within the department. He also claims that there was a pervasive culture of discrimination within the sheriff’s office and that he was subject to a sustained campaign by sheriff’s administration to force him out of his job.

Jackson, who was a road patrol sergeant at the time, was fired in June 2011 after an internal investigation determined he had completed a hit-and-run report for a friend who said the incident occurred in Augusta. It was later determined the accident actually occurred near Atlanta. The investigation found that the person reporting the accident made an insurance claim and received payment for the damage.

In his lawsuit, Jackson contends he was innocent of any wrongdoing in that incident. He demands to be reinstated at the rank of lieutenant and to be awarded $95,000 in back pay and $2.5 million in damages.