Justin Fleeman

Justin Fleeman

Justin Fleeman has been fired as chief deputy at the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, he confirmed on Thursday.

Fleeman, who ran against Sheriff Donny Youngblood for his seat in the June 2018 primary election, said he was fired on May 29 as retaliation for running a campaign against Youngblood during which he criticized the sheriff and the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office declined to comment for this story, directing all questions to the County Counsel. Deputy County Counsel Bryan Alba provided a brief comment on the issue, saying Fleeman "no longer works for Kern County."

No information has been provided on whether the Sheriff's Office will be rehiring to fill Fleeman's position. 

Fleeman said in the coming months, his lawyer — Kevin Schwin out of Fresno — will be filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against the county.

“I’m looking forward to this unfolding in court and the people seeing I was actually truthful during the campaign,” Fleeman said.

Fleeman, who worked for the department for the past 20 years, had filed a claim against the county earlier this year alleging defamation and invasion of privacy by the Sheriff’s Office. Fleeman said members of the department have retaliated against him because he ran for the sheriff position.

It is unclear at this point if this claim will be merged with the wrongful termination lawsuit or whether it will remain separate. 

Leading up to last June’s election, Fleeman made several accusations against Youngblood, including that the Sheriff protected his friends from firing for ethical violations and misallocated department funding to buy a helicopter.

Youngblood denied the allegations and criticized Fleeman for running what he believed to be a dirty campaign aimed at ruining his reputation and that of the Sheriff’s Office in order to win.

In the election, Youngblood was re-elected with 66.24 percent of the vote while Fleeman garnered 33.76 percent, according to the Kern County Elections Office.

The president of the Kern County Sheriff Command Association couldn't be reached for comment on Thursday. 

Joseph Luiz can be reached at 395-7368 or by email at jluiz@bakersfield.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @JLuiz_TBC. 

(13) comments

bakersman

that chubby dude looks scary crayzee i wouldnt want him in any position of power i bet he has dirty underwear a travel size lotion in his pocket

Sheebe

Fleeman never said how he felt about the 2nd Amendment. He was cocky when he was in the debate. That didn't set well. Don't care for either of them. I cannot stand a cocky law enforcement agent. Fleemen as so sure of himself. Being fired is not going to stop him from getting money. He won't starve. He never said one word about our 2nd Amendment. That is why I didn't want to see him win.

Mrknowitall

Is this the 1950’s or 60’s. Backward town. No wonder future high salary techs n docs won’t relocate. Old habits die hard. A guy runs for office. Basic American right. Folks died for these rights. Oh just fire him. Who cares? Not Kern folks. Until it happens to them. Lol. Have you all no shame? 20 years the guy was ok. All of a sudden fired. And with a sheriff’s officer shortage?! Ridiculous but par for the course for this advance community

WorriedAboutSafety

So what were the grounds for his dismissal?

dabonem

(((Justin Fleeman)))

Ed

Is this guy still whining ? He never had a chance with his demeanor and sarcasm. He hurt every deputy out there with his backstabbing ways. Mommas boy attitude.

BakoGuy805

[alien] Sheriff isn’t going to like this probe in court.

thatryguy

Youngblood is beyond corrupt. The terrifying thing is, the county will pay Fleeman, but nothing further will happen, and then the brain trust will re-elect Youngblood next time anyway. This county baffles me. Literally baffles me.

GetReal2

If Mr. Freeman thought he could run against Donny Youngblood and not lose his job in Kern County, he deserved to get fired. Unless persons who complained left a paper trail, highly unlikely Wrongful Termination suit will go anywhere. And nobody needed to instruct SO employed supporters of DY that complaints against the boss’s challenger would be welcome. Common sense.

The Jackal

No one deserves to be fired for exposing corruption and to be retaliated against for being a political opponent. Are you a bootlicker?

GaryJohns

Tissue...?

GetReal2

Christ worshipped and washed others’ feet. Hope you are not meaning to challenge Christ. The point, respectfully, was only to suggest that challenging established power in Kern County is unChristian, unless like Mr. Chad Vegas, the challenger or newspaper is anti-Christian.

The Jackal

This is not a monarchy or a kingdom in Game of Thrones. This is a democracy and challenging any position is Christian and Democratic. Just like Christ challenged the position of those who persecuted him. So respectfully disappear with your nonsense troll.

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