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Deputy in inmate fights faced 2006 complaints

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Bullying behavior, offers of cheeseburgers for silence, threats of violence, rumors of other deputies knowing but doing nothing — the accusations in the 2006 sexual assault civil cases against San Francisco sheriff’s Deputy Scott Neu echo the allegations made Thursday by County Jail inmates who said the deputy forced them to fight each other for his entertainment.

After three inmates in 2006 accused Neu of forcing them to perform sexual acts on him, the case was handled internally by other deputies, and apparently no criminal charges were presented to the district attorney’s office.

Since those accusations, Neu has had four more lawsuits filed against him: one for a false arrest and three for excessive force.

Harry Stern, an attorney for the deputies’ union, said he did not believe that the sexual misconduct suits had merit in the criminal justice system, which is why charges were never filed against Neu.

In recorded conversations with Adachi, the inmates said Neu had created an environment of fear and retribution in County Jail No. 4 at 850 Bryant St., humiliating an overweight inmate by making him “train” for the fights and ordering them to gamble for their basic benefits of food and clean laundry.

[...] Mark Nicco, assistant legal counsel for the Sheriff’s Department, said that before the 2014 establishment of the criminal investigations unit, the sheriff’s internal affairs unit handled all reports of deputy misconduct.

Since 2005, the department has fired six sworn personnel and three civilian employees, but Nicco said he did not know why.

According to the city attorney’s office, a jury ruled in Neu’s favor in one 2011 excessive force lawsuit.

Since the fight allegations came to light, Neu, along with the other deputies named in the allegations — Deputies Eugene Jones, Clifford Chiba and Evan Staehely — have been put on paid administrative leave.

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