Livingston County Sheriff Tony Childress has filed a lawsuit over Facebook comments related to a pending heroin case.
The lawsuit accuses Philip Uphoff, the brother of Livingston County State's Attorney Seth Uphoff, of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The social media posting criticized comments made by Childress following the arrest of a Flanagan couple on drug charges. The sheriff said more than 50 baggies containing an undetermined amount of heroin were found by police at the home of James and Beth Blankenbeckler.
The Bloomington Pantagraph reports drug possession charges filed by Seth Uphoff raised questions from residents about the seriousness of the drug raid. The sheriff responded that he believed evidence collected at the scene pointed to intent to sell illegal drugs, warranting more serious charges.
In public remarks after the arrests, the sheriff and prosecutor have stood by their characterizations of the charges.
In his lawsuit filed earlier this month, the sheriff takes exception to Philip Uphoff's Facebook posting that the sheriff "purposely misled all of the citizens in order to smear the name of our State's Attorney Seth Uphoff."
The comment continued with an accusation by Philip Uphofff that the sheriff required deputies to actively campaign for Randy Yedinak, Seth Uphoff's opponent in the March 15 Republican primary election. Yedinak defeated Uphoff in his bid for a second term.
Childress denies the allegations, calling the remarks "libelous, slanderous and false statements."
Philip Uphoff has not filed a response to the lawsuit.