Wake sheriff's office settles with former employee who claimed Baker retaliated against him

6 April 2022

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday it had settled an unfair termination lawsuit with a former employee.

In 2020, Richard Johnson, the former WCSO chief of operations for the previous administration, filed a suit against Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker alleging he was “retaliated against by not being asked to return to serve under the new administration.”

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker

Johnson sought more than $1 million in damages in the lawsuit. The lawsuit was settled for $99,000 and no admission of liability on the part of Baker.

For years, since the election of Baker, dozens have raised issues about staffing and morale inside the sheriff’s office. In January 2022, a longtime member of the department and a supporter of Baker’s campaign spoke out about similar concerns that he says led to his resignation.

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker

“I did believe he was the right guy at the time,” Jared Ollison told WRAL Investigates.

Ollison worked for the department for years, took a 13-year break, but returned when Baker was elected.

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker says that recent rumors about an investigation are untrue.

In a statement about the settlement, Baker said the decision was consistent with his “pledge to use resources and taxpayers’ dollars to best serve the residents of Wake County.”

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