Former Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy settles for $50,000 to drop lawsuits against Lincoln and Polk Counties
Former Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff Colin Teem has dropped his lawsuits against Lincoln and Polk Counties for the way they handled his arrest on suspicion of stealing money off the floor of the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde in 2009. Teem agreed to drop his lawsuits in exchange for $50,000 from the counties’ insurance carrier.
The story began in the Fall of 2009 when Teem was out with his wife at the casino. As he walked through a gambling area he noticed sixty dollars in cash on the floor. Teem said he reached down, picked up the money, and then checked with nearby patrons if they had lost any money. He said no one did and so he stuffed the bills in his pocket and rejoined his wife.
A short while later Teem said he was confronted by casino security and told him that surveillance tapes revealed that the money belonged to a particular casino patron. Teem told them that for amounts under $100 state statute does not require anyone to report the finding of the money.
Casino security alerted Polk County authorities who eventually arrested Teem for theft. When learning of the incident the Lincoln County Sheriff Office fired him.
In the end Teem returned the sixty dollars and all charges against him were dropped. Teem filed a lawsuit against Lincoln County for wrongful termination from his deputy job. He also filed suit against Polk county for false arrest and malicious prosecution.
With Teem agreeing to the $50K settlement, the lawsuits were dropped and his dismissal from his deputy job stands.