DADE CITY, Fla. (AP) — An attorney says 18 more plaintiffs have been added to a lawsuit accusing Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco and his commanders of extortion, defamation and intimidation.

Attorney John Mcuire filed the amended lawsuit Wednesday against Nocco and several of his commanders on behalf of 21 former employees.

The original complaint filed in April had three plaintiffs.

In the amended complaint, former deputy Cliff Baltzer says his sergeant filed a false internal affairs complaint against him in 2018. He says the supervisor also threatened to euthanize his canine partner and blame Baltzer for the dog's death.

Other allegations include gender discrimination and pressure to donate to Nocco's reelection campaign.

Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll told the Tampa Bay Times that the allegations will be proven false in court.

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