Washington Captain Settles Religious Discrimination Claims for $1 Million

A Washington fire captain who was terminated for ignoring orders to stop sending religious-themes emails over the department’s email system has reached a settlement of his First Amendment religious discrimination suit. Former Spokane Valley captain Jon Sprague has agreed to settle his suit against the Spokane Valley Fire Department for close to $1 million.

The six-year legal battle that wound up in the Washington Supreme Court just about a year ago has been chronicled here in four stories:

Spokane Valley Captain Pushing Right to Send Religious Emails

Spokane Valley Captain Fired For Religious Emails

Washington Captain Sues Over Termination for Religious Emails

Washington Captain Wins First Amendment Reprieve

The settlement calls for a $900,000 payment and additional retirement benefits.

Spokane Valley Fire, former captain reach $900K settlement in free speech case

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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