Deputy files suit against sheriff’s department
A Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial document was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana New Albany Division by Abraham Hildebrand via his attorneys, John Haskin & Associates against the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office.
The case brought by Hildebrand alleges that the sheriff, Jeff Cumberworth, discriminated against him due to his diagnosed PTSD. In the court document filed, there are several accounts where Hildebrand says he didn’t receive fair treatment.
According to the document, Hildebrand has been employed with the sheriff’s office since July 23, 2007. He was promoted to Detective Sergeant in 2011. The document reads, “At all times relevant, Hildebrand has had a disability, a record of a disability, or is perceived and/or regarded as disabled by the defendant…Hildebrand suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”
The Standard Operating Procedure relating to death investigations was changed in 2017 to require Detective Hildebrand to respond to all death investigations. Part of the document filed talks about the investigations Hildebrand had to perform, many of which were children.
After several death investigations Hildebrand handled on adults and children alike, he says he went to the sheriff and told him he felt he needed to see a doctor. Eventually, Hildebrand asked for relief from death investigations. Since that was a large portion of his job as a detective, the sheriff offered him a patrol position or jail administrator. The death investigations dates back to 2017 and 2018.
The document calls for Hildebrand to be reinstated to his previous position and shift or pay, be compensated for punitive damages, have all his costs and attorney’s fees paid.
Sgt. Hildebrand is currently working as a patrol officer (fourth deputy) for the sheriff’s department according to information from the Ripley County Auditor’s Office.
Death investigations are routinely conducted by police when the manner of death in unknown. This could include, but is not limited to, someone who died from an overdose, gunshot wound or a child/adult who dies with no prior medical problems. Sometimes an autopsy is requested by the coroner.
Sheriff Cumberworth could not comment on the document or situation due to it being a personnel matter.
Editor’s note: The entire document is public record and on file with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division. Information for this article was taken from that document.