GRAND RAPIDS (AP) - A former Itasca County sheriff's deputy has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was forced to resign because he supported the sheriff's opponent in the last election.

Troy Ugrich says Sheriff Vic Williams ignored him at work and informed him he was under investigation for "theft of public funds involving government property" after he backed his election opponent. The Crow Wing County attorney who investigated found no criminal misconduct by the deputy.

Ugrich joined the sheriff's department in 1997. He is requesting a jury trial. Sheriff Williams did not immediately return a call seeking comment.