FAYETTEVILLE -- A former Fayette County deputy sheriff is suing over claims he was falsely accused of animal cruelty in retaliation by another officer.

William B. Secrist filed a lawsuit July 22 in Fayette Circuit Court against the Fayette County Sheriff's Department and Steven M. Gray, citing malicious prosecution.

According to the complaint, Gray, a deputy sheriff, was dispatched by the Fayette County Sheriff's Department on July 31, 2013, to Midland Trail in Lookout, where he took a statement from a resident and negligently filed a criminal complaint against Secrist for a felony charge of animal cruelty, without further investigation.

The complaint states the charge was dismissed Aug. 20, 2013, and Gray charged Secrist with misdemeanor animal cruelty, a charge which was also dismissed for lack of evidence Sept. 3.

Secrist says the incident stems from a disagreement between himself and Gray when Secrist was also employed as a deputy sheriff with the department. Secrist says Gray beat a suspect and when he faced a civil action, Secrist refused to testify in his favor, for which Gray threatened him.

Gray and the Fayette County Sheriff's Department are accused of constitutional tort, vicarious liability, negligence, outrageous conduct/intentional infliction and false arrest and malicious prosecution.

Secrist is seeking damages and attorney's fees.

He is being represented in the case by attorney Michael T. Clifford in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge John W. Hatcher.

Fayette Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-203(H)

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