Former Washoe tribal police officer Doug Lewis of Carson Valley has received $74,000 for wrongful termination. He had asked Interior and the BIA for $750,000 in damages. U.S. District Court Judge Howard McKibben awarded Lewis $14,000 for lost wages and $60,000 for pain and suffering. Lewis claimed he was wrongfully terminated by the Gardnerville-based tribe and alleged the government was negligent in hiring Lionel Ahdunko as tribal police captain in 1992. Lewis' grievances primarily stemmed from a 1997 traffic accident and Ahdunko's subsequent false statements in a police report which Lewis refused to sign. McKibben wrote that a few days after the accident, Ahdunko threatened to prosecute Lewis for false arrest in an unrelated matter and later told Lewis he was being discharged. McKibben ruled Lewis is entitled to compensation for only seven months pay because May trial evidence showed Lewis had difficulties getting along with other officers and likely wouldn't have continued as an employee for more than a year beyond his termination. Center of controversy as head of the department, Ahdunko eventually was sentenced to three years' probation and fined $2,500 for the false report. He was fired in September 1997. Later he was sentenced to prison for illegally possessing a fully automatic weapon.
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