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Leelanau County Pays $625K In Eavesdropping Lawsuit

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SUTTONS BAY, Mich. (AP) - Court documents show that Leelanau County’s board of commissioners has agreed to pay $625,000 to settle a federal lawsuit by sheriff’s deputies who say the then-sheriff and undersheriff eavesdropped on their private conversations and otherwise violated their rights.

The board in the northwestern Lower Peninsula county approved the deal in October but didn’t reveal its terms. The Traverse City Record-Eagle says the amount of the payment was listed in a newly released settlement agreement.

The agreement came as the suit against Sheriff Mike Oltersdorf and Undersheriff Scott Wooters was set to go to trial.

The deputies say Oltersdorf and Wooters listened to conversations on what employees believed were private phone lines beginning in 2006.

They say Oltersdorf used recordings of conversations critical of him to intimidate and discipline officers.

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