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Supreme Court upholds denial of disability benefits to former sheriff's deputy

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HELENA, Montana — The Montana Supreme Court is upholding a lower court ruling that denied disability benefits to a former Glacier County undersheriff.

Jeff Fauque had argued post-traumatic stress disorder caused by years of investigating deaths led to drug abuse that cost him his job.

Fauque was charged in October 2010 with entering a house to steal prescription narcotics. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, surrendered his law enforcement certifications and went to inpatient addiction treatment.

He later applied for disability benefits under the Sheriff's Retirement System.

The Montana Public Employees Retirement Board twice denied his claim for disability benefits, disputing Fauque's claim that his PTSD was permanently disabling. A hearing examiner upheld the denial in November 2012. In September 2013, District Judge Mike Menahan of Helena rejected Fauque's appeal.

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