Longwith lawsuit dismissed by judge
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Dec 20, 2013 | 857 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A federal judge earlier this week granted a motion for a summary judgment and dismissed a $1.5 lawsuit against the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Jim Ruth.

Dallas Longwith, a former Bradley County deputy, was fired from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office in January 2012, after BCSO officials had received complaints from Longwith’s neighbors that he worked in his front yard “wearing nothing but boxer shorts on a regular basis,” according to Bob Gault, media relations coordinator.

Judge Curtis L. Collier of the Eastern District of Tennessee’s federal court granted the motion and dismissed the claims Tuesday.

According to Gault, Longwith was relieved from duty for “engaging in behavior unbecoming a deputy sheriff and failure to comply with a direct order of a superior in violation of Sheriff’s Office policies.”

Gault also added that Longwith had stated “he was terminated for political reasons.”

Longwith had filed the lawsuit in January 2013.

According to previous published reports, Longwith maintained he wore Tennessee Vols orange shorts and an old T-shirt while he mowed the lawn. The knee-length shorts had buttons. The shorts were not underwear, according to the report.

Former BCSO Capt. Eric Watson, who supervised the Judicial Services Division at the time, investigated the complaint. Watson found no policy violations and closed the inquiry.

Longwith said in a related 2012 news story that he did not mow his yard in December. He said the identity of the second complainant was not revealed to him. Longwith said his dismissal was politically motivated because he and Watson are friends.

Watson has since announced his candidacy for the sheriff’s position at the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

The court granted the summary judgment and Collier directed the clerk of the court to close the case.

Responding to a Cleveland Daily Banner request for comment, Longwith said this morning he could not comment on the lawsuit’s dismissal.