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Complaint filed against Forsyth County Sheriff

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Federal lawyers have filed a complaint against Forsyth County Sheriff William Schatzman saying he unfairly fired a deputy less than a year after the officer was deployed to Afghanistan with the Army National Guard.

The Justice Department said Thursday that the county and Schatzman violated a federal law that protects soldiers returning from overseas from being fired from their jobs for a year without just cause.

Federal officials say the sheriff fired Michael Russell in November 2010 after he bought tickets in a motorcycle raffle that were being sold by Schatzman's opponent for sheriff. Russell says he just wanted to win the motorcycle and was never told buying the tickets would get him fired.

A message left at the sheriff's office after hours wasn't returned.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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