BOISE — The Idaho State Police on Thursday resolved a whistleblower lawsuit filed by one of its troopers, about three months after the Idaho Supreme Court rejected its arguments.
It’s been almost four-and-a-half years since Brandon Eller, one of the state police’s crash reconstructionists, filed a lawsuit against the Idaho State Police in January 2015. Eller claimed the agency had retaliated against him after he testified against a Payette County Sheriff’s deputy, who was involved in a 2011 fatal crash while responding to a 911 call. The deputy, for a time, faced a charge of felony vehicular manslaughter. Eller also took issue with a policy the agency had at the time, directing its troopers to destroy all but final versions of crash reconstruction reports.
In 2015, Eller sued the Idaho State Police under the Whistleblower Act, claiming the agency retaliated against him. The agency labeled him a “disgruntled employee,” denied him a pay raise, and scheduled him for night and weekend shifts, Boise Weekly reported in 2017. In September of that year, an Ada County jury awarded Eller $1.5 million in emotional damages, but ordered a new trial to determine those. The ISP has now settled with Eller for $1.3 million.
The Idaho State Police appealed the case to the Idaho Supreme Court, claiming the case did not fall under the Whistleblower Act. In a unanimous decision in May, the court rejected that argument, and ruled emotional distress damages are permissible under the state whistle blower law.
Eller still works for the Idaho State Police, according to the release.
“ISP paid the portions of the earlier judgment upheld by the Idaho Supreme Court, has resolved the remaining damage claim, and has asked the Court to dismiss the case,” according to a news release from Strindberg & Scholnick, the law firm representing Eller.
“I am thankful that my family and I can finally focus on our future with this case behind us,” Eller said in the press release. “Although this has been an extremely stressful undertaking, I close this chapter knowing that the jury’s verdict vindicated not just my rights, but the rights of every government employee in Idaho.”
Tim Marsano, spokesman for the Idaho State Police, declined to comment.