LA County Sheriff's Deputy Sues Department Over Firing

By John Cadiz Klemack and Brandon Lowrey
|  Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013  |  Updated 11:35 PM PDT
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Penelope Armstrong says she was fired for taking the side of a suspect and wouldn't go along with a story made up by her partner. She worked for the department for nearly a decade and is fighting to clear her name. L.A County Sheriff's Spokesperson says the case has no merit. John Cadiz Klemack reports from Monterey Park for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

John Cadiz Klemack

Penelope Armstrong says she was fired for taking the side of a suspect and wouldn't go along with a story made up by her partner. She worked for the department for nearly a decade and is fighting to clear her name. L.A County Sheriff's Spokesperson says the case has no merit. John Cadiz Klemack reports from Monterey Park for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy is suing the Sheriff's Department, claiming she was fired for refusing to go along with a coverup.

Penelope Armstrong, who was a deputy for 10 years, told NBC4 her partner falsely claimed a man choked him. Armstrong did not corroborate his story, and said the deputy was not choked.

She also claimed that top officials at the department told her to change her story to match her partner's.

The Sheriff's Department denied her allegations.

"We're going to defend this because it's just not true," said Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

The man accused of choking Armstrong's partner was found not guilty by a jury, Armstrong's attorney said.

Armstrong said she was initially suspended from duty shortly after the incident because she failed to draw her weapon to defend her partner. She was fired six months later.

"I believe I was fired because my partner lied and I refused to lie," she "I refused to take part in the coverup."

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