TULARE COUNTY (KFSN) --Court records and a new press release from a Los Angeles law firm reveal Tulare County has settled two lawsuits filed by women who say they were sexually and emotionally victimized by a former Tulare County sheriff's deputy. But the county claims settlements have not yet been finalized with the five plaintiffs.
A press release written by the public relations company for the law firm Kabateck Brown Kellner says Tulare County will pay $2.2 million to settle two civil lawsuits against the county, the sheriff's office, and former deputy William Nulick.
"The county and its sheriff's department have been held accountable when their employee, who's responsible for protecting the community, is instead preying on some of the most vulnerable members of the population," said attorney Brian Kabateck. "Our hope is that Tulare County does more to prevent this type of abuse from happening again."
The lawsuits were filed in September of 2015 by a total of five women who claim they were harassed, intimidated, and sexually assaulted by Nulick while he worked as a deputy in the rural community of Monson. He was first arrested in 2013 after a woman claimed he had pulled her over and told her she could get out of a ticket if she performed a sexual act for him.
More women then came forward with similar stories.
Thursday afternoon, Tulare County officials issued a statement about the civil cases.
"The county is acting diligently in connection with the matter involving former deputy William Nulick. However, at this time, settlements with the plaintiffs have not been finalized. The board is moving forward with the best interests of everyone in mind, including the victims, and we commend our county sheriff who was quick to respond as soon as deputy Nulick's misconduct was reported to the agency."
But the women involved also sued Nulick, the county, and the sheriff's office for violations of their civil rights, and negligent supervision and hiring practices.
"What the plaintiffs are saying is that because he's a deputy sheriff, acting as a deputy sheriff, these illegal acts should be the responsibility of the county, and that's what's happening here," said ABC30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi.
Capozzi said when Nulick plead no contest to the sex charges early last year, it was essentially an admission of guilt. He says the civil suits were filed as a way to hold his employer, the county, responsible for his actions.
"If it happened one time, that might be an issue," Capozzi said. "But if it's happened a number of times, and from what I understand in this case, there's a number of women this has happened to, that takes it to a different level. And the implication is the county should have known this."
The Tulare County Sheriff's Office also issued a statement today.
"Three years ago upon learning of the allegations against deputy Nulick, Sheriff Boudreaux took immediate and appropriate action with both criminal and internal investigations which led to the successful prosecution of misconduct. Nulick resigned from the department after being placed on administrative leave."