A former El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy is filing a federal lawsuit accusing top state and county officials of corruption, defamation and more.
Juan San Agustin is seeking $10 million in damages saying these past couple of years have torn apart his reputation and caused him unnecessary humiliation.
Among the 22 defendants are El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, District Attorney Dan May and Attorney General candidate George Brauchler.
“I think this was all retaliation,” said San Agustin in a 2017 interview. “You know, I was not willing to drink this political Kool-Aid among this community.”
The lawsuit comes a year after charges against San Agustin were tossed for the alleged kidnapping and false imprisonment over the arrest of Kelly Trull. Former sheriff Terry Maketa and former undersheriff Paula Presley were named in connection to the case.
The 45-page lawsuit claims there was enough evidence to support the fact that San Agustin was never present in any meetings involving or discussing Trull.
Saying Brauchler, May and others “manipulated evidence to the Grand Jury” as part of a “ploy to have San Agustin indicted for something he did not do.”
“The people should be vigilant in wanting to see back-up and proof for the claims that are made by the defendants in the case,” said San Agustin’s attorney Jane H. Fisher-Byrialsen. “I mean just because they are elected public officials doesn’t mean that we should blindly believe in what they said.”
The lawsuit also claims that Elder and May targeted San Agustin for claiming there was more than one person involved in the murder of former Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements.
Brauchler responded to the lawsuit.
“It’s a sad fact of life that prosecutors are often sued for doing their jobs by persons who don’t like the fact that they were prosecuted. Such lawsuits are almost always legally frivolous and quickly dismissed by the courts. Anyone can file a lawsuit alleging anything they want. This lawsuit has no basis in fact or law. Once we are served with it, we will file a motion to dismiss, which we anticipate will be granted quickly by the court. I think that the public should be skeptical of a lawsuit when it was obviously sent to the media before the plaintiff’s lawyer saw fit to give us a copy. The first we heard of this was from a reporter.”
FOX21 reached out to the Sheriff, who said he could not comment on pending litigation, and the District Attorney’s Office who didn’t respond.
“The public IS welcome to read the complaint and make conclusions they want, I don’t believe there is any need to be skeptical, I mean the facts are the facts,” said Fisher-Byrialsen