Sheriff’s Deputy Fired for Posting Selfies from Jan 6 Protest Gets $400,000 Settlement

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Sheriff's Deputy Fired for Posting Selfies from Jan 6 Protest Gets $400,000 Settlement

Bexar County Sheriff’s lieutenant, who was fired from her job after posting pictures from the Jan 6 Capitol protest, has secured a $395,000 legal settlement.

The county’s insurer will pay Roxanne Mathai the federal out-of-court settlement.

Mathai argued that the action violated her First Amendment rights and was retaliation for her political beliefs.

Mathai attended the rally in support of then-President Donald Trump on Jan 6, 2021.

She took selfies as the crowd marched toward the Capitol.

However, Mathai never entered the Capitol and returned to her hotel room instead.

Mathai later said she was shocked to see later TV coverage of the mob clashing with police and forcing its way into the Capitol building.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar began investigating Mathai’s actions.

“To know that somebody at some point that wore this uniform stood by and watched and took pictures, I don’t know what her general attitude was about that,” Salazar said at the time.

“That’s infuriating.”

For months later, Mathai was fired.

In 2022, she sued the county and Salazar, seeking damages for back pay, future pay, and emotional distress.

In a statement on Tuesday, Salazar said the termination was done within policy and upheld by an arbitrator.

“The decision to issue a settlement was made outside the BCSO,” Salazar said.

“There was no wrongdoing on the part of the administration, and I stand by our actions.”

In April, Bexar County Commissioners approved paying the $100,000 deductible amount for the insurance carrier to take over the defense and resolution of the lawsuit.

Ksat.com reported:

During a deposition in late November, Salazar stated that deputies are required to report crimes they witness to a supervisor, even while on vacation.

An attorney used the hypothetical example of a BCSO employee who sees someone steal an iPhone from a beach bag while vacationing in Cancun and then asked whether that would have to be reported to a supervisor.

Salazar responded, “Yes,” according to the deposition.

Salazar, also during his deposition, stated he believed Mathai is a terrorist.

“I believe it — that the insurrection itself was a terrorist act, and she was there in support of it,” said Salazar during his deposition.

“I believe she was there in full support of a terrorist incident,” added Salazar during his deposition.

Mathai never went inside the Capitol building and was not formally accused of criminal wrongdoing by any law enforcement agency.

“We are pleased to announce that a settlement has been reached in the case of Roxanne Michele Mathai versus Bexar County, Texas and Javier Salazar,” attorney Mark Anthony Sánchez said in a written statement, adding that Mathai is permitted to reapply for employment with BCSO.

READ: BLM Organizer Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for Jan 6 Protest Infiltration

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