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Cox Case Settled — But Questions Remain

Deputy Jason Cox’s long anticipated sexual harass­ment lawsuit against the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was dismissed late last week “with prejudice.” The terms of the suit’s settlement are as bizarre as the allegations Sheriff Deputy Jason Cox made— claims of workplace sex discrimination, wife swapping, denial of promotion, and on the job drunkenness.

Cox worked as a resident sheriff’s deputy in the Covelo precinct, from 2002 to 2007, with two of his colleagues, Deputies Eric Gore and Brett White under the Supervision of Sheriff’s Sergeant Shannon Barney who was in turn supervised by then-lieutenant (now Sheriff) Tom Allman. White and Gore commit­ted suicide within a year of each other between 2006 and 2007. In the suit, Cox alleged that Barney encour­aged his deputies to engage in wife swapping, but he declined the sexual invitation initiated by his Superior Sergeant Barney. The suit also alleged Barney sexually harassed other colleagues within the Sheriff’s Office, and that he drank on the job.

Despite Cox’s refusal to join in the wife swapping, he claimed his wife had an affair with White while on duty, whom she was training under in 2006. After Cox made the complaints he then faced threats and har­assment from White, according to the suit. Cox also claimed after turning down “sexual overtures” from Barney he received a poor evaluation and was denied promotion.

The suit also named Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman, who Cox alleged knew what was going on, but did nothing other than pass over Cox for a promotion. The court threw out the allegations against Allman, according to the County’s cryptic set­tlement statement: “The courts have ruled there is no legal basis for this action to proceed against Sheriff Allman.” The document, obtained by this reporter continues, “Other aspects of the case were deter­mined to require jury resolution.”

Sheriff Allman declined to comment on the settle­ment.

Cox left the Covelo precinct in 2006 and is now a special undercover agent with the K-9 unit. Barney was promoted to Deputy Coroner and transferred to Ukiah. He has since been named the County’s Disas­ter Preparedness Coordinator.

Cox’s personnel concerns may have been addressed in the settlement agreement with Mendo­cino County. The agreement states, “[The County] has addressed personnel concerns in a manner designed to protect [sic] all parties to the action.”

According to County Counsel, Jeanine Nadel, Cox will remain a K-9 Handler/Special Agent and at the discretion of Tom Allman, may serve a third year in the unit when the opportunity arises. But the humble settlement leaves more questions unanswered than settled.

Other terms of the settlement include reimburse­ment of Cox’s attorney fees. The County will reim­burse “a portion” of the legal fees “incurred by Mr. Cox.” According to Nadel, Mendocino County will pay Cox’s attorney, Brian Flahavan of Santa Rosa, a mere $20,000 for his legal services.  Flahavan and Cox did not return calls by press time.

All in all, the County’s settlement states the settle­ment is “in the best interests of the citizens of the County of Mendocino which each serve.” But, the set­tlement leaves a number of questions unaddressed: Were the allegations so unfounded they did not con­stitute a case? Did the parties involved reconcile dif­ferences? Did the process of deposition and discovery uncover compromising information on Cox that weakened his case?

Jason Cox Vs. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was scheduled to begin trial October on 26th, but since both parties agreed to this settlement, the depo­sitions of Sergeant Shannon Barney, Tom Allman, Jason Cox will not be disclosed to discover whatever truths about alleged misconduct and abuse of power within the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office there may be. Therefore, the people of Mendocino County will not know whether this settlement was really in their best interest.


  1. Kurt Mac. July 4, 2021

    Shannon Barney and Matthew Kendall were involved in tampering with evidence so that the defense could not gun shot residue test a bloody t-shirt, that was seized Coroner’s property.

    According to death investigation report #Coro 7 – 390 “I released the previously seized coroners property to decedent’s mother Shirley Silva. Silva signed. AKA Shirley Taylor it appears.(newly discovered that Kendall and Taylor are related)

    Captain Matthew Kendall was decedent James Redenius uncle. This relationship led him and other officers to tamper with evidence in defendant Michael Marlins case by illegally removing bloody clothing two days after the shooting, tampering with an audio recording, falsifying the evidence property report, falsifying the death investigation report, falsifying audio report.

    None of the police reports in the case were reviewed by a supervisor and the district attorney’s office of Mendocino, attorney Jill Ravitch prosecuted the case anyway!

    Essentially what they did was frame Michael Marlin for murder.

    (All information appears to be true and is from police reports and policy and procedure of the Mendocino county sheriff’s department)

    Why did Shannon Barney sign over captain Allmans stamped named spot on the death investigation report and conclude that everything was true and correct when there was all of above misconduct?

    FBI? State’s Attorney? Look into this case. On 3 – 2 – 21 Captain Van Patten was given a sheriff complaint regarding these issues. Every step of the way he has refused to actually submit the complaint & follow policy 6 12.3 which is mandatory. Policy 6 12.3 says that anytime an officer discovers exculpatory evidence that they must write a supplemental report and send it to the prosecutor’s office.

    Captain Van Patten said that he does not have to follow that policy essentially because Nicholas Marlin sent the sheriff complaint to the district attorney’s office twice. Twice district attorney investigator Kevin Bailey sent the complaint back and said that he is the wrong venue. Kevin Bailey admitted to Rick Marlin that he read the complaint, admitted having knowledge of crimes, Rick Marlin explained to Kevin Bailey “conspiracy, tampering, destruction of evidence, tampering with an audio recording ect” Bailey said that he could not help even if he wanted to because he was named as having knowledge of the misconduct in the complaint.

    FBI? Federal investigators? Please investigate coroner case # Coro 7 – 390 defendant Michael Marlin.

    Falsified death investigation report.

    Falsified evidence property report.

    Falsified audio report.

    Tampered with audio recording.

    Mendocino county Sheriff complaint 21-7 Filed with Captain Van Patten on 3 – 2 – 21 by Nicholas Marlin.

    All police reports read: reported by Jacob Donahue reviewed by Jacob Donahue reported by Matthew Kendall reviewed by Matthew Kendall reported by Scofield review to buy Scofield reported by Verdot reviewed by Verdot.

    • Pauline Dungan October 10, 2021

      FBI please help me Theses guys tried to set me up with three stikeable. Did not get to say God bye to my Mom. On her Death Bed! The only witness they had was not even who they said when I called Trent out on It he casdd me home and tried to Arrest me with no cause and me do was not aress5ing people at that Time where was he going to take me ? The cop killed Gareth! They also know who burnt down half the town and tried to I blame me because Cole is fucking her! Tom Allman also owns the trailer Park car wash and restaurant with angel who brings in all the drugs in sells them through Allen’s Bar. He only has a bar thinks to his dirty da

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