Michigan sheriff sued for discriminatory, racist behavior

JACKSON, Mich. - A federal lawsuit alleges that a Michigan sheriff has made insulting remarks against blacks, women and Hispanics and mocked a lieutenant for his work-related hearing loss.

Jackson County Lt. Tommy Schuette's filed a federal lawsuit against the county and Sheriff Steven Rand on Monday. The lawsuit alleges Rand created a hostile work environment and harassed Schuette because of his disability. It also alleges the county didn't take action when Schuette reported Rand's behavior and aren't giving him proper disability coverage.

Jackson County officials deny any wrongdoing and have referred the issue to the Michigan State Police and Attorney General for an independent criminal investigation.

Rand in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday noted that "it would not be prudent to talk about pending litigation" and said he planned to speak with a lawyer before possibly commenting.

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