Sheriff's deputy who allegedly led jail fights relieved of duty

The alleged ringleader of staged inmate fights at County Jail has been informed that he will be fired over the scandal.

Deputy Scott Neu received a letter Tuesday saying Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi intends to fire him, said his lawyer Harry Stern. Deputies are responsible for guarding the jails.

Neu is accused of leading a group of deputies who pitted County Jail inmates against one another and bet on the results.

“He has been formally stripped of his official duties,” said Stern.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced in March that an investigation by his office revealed that four deputies had allegedly held “gladiator-style” fights in the jail at 850 Bryant St.

At the time, Adachi revealed transcripts of his jailhouse calls with two inmates, who said they were threatened with violence if they did not fight and promised food and better treatment as a reward if they did. The fights reportedly started March 3.

A representative of the Sheriff’s Department, which has planned a Thursday news conference on the status of the FBI and internal investigation into the fights, could not confirm Neu’s firing Wednesday.

“This is only a letter of an intended action, so there is a process for addressing these claims,” cautioned Stern.

The department did not provide Neu or Stern with any evidence related to the charges against him. Once the evidence is provided, Stern said they will decide how to proceed, adding that they are likely to appeal.

Stern did not know the status of other deputies involved in the scandal. They are Clifford Chiba, Eugene Jones and Evan Staehly.

Neu has a history of malfeasance in the department. He was accused in a 2006 civil rights lawsuit of sexually tormenting several inmates.

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