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Demoted Family Court supervisor starts new job as marshal

Demoted Family Court Lt. Steve Rushfield started his new job Monday as a marshal for Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan, officials confirmed.

Rushfield voluntarily stepped down last month from his position as supervisor over Family Court marshals amid allegations of abuse and misconduct detailed in a Review-Journal story.

Rushfield is suspected of participating in a cover-up of assault allegations against another marshal and was the subject of an internal investigation into allegations he choked a 23-year-old woman restrained in a chair in a holding cell.

The other marshal, Ron Fox, was fired after a hearing master upheld allegations he groped Monica Contreras, 28, who was in Family Court on Aug. 8, 2011, for a brief hearing related to her divorce.

In a courtroom incident captured on videotape, Contreras complained to Hearing Master Patricia Doninger that Fox assaulted her in a nearby witness room under the guise of searching for drugs.

Last week, Contreras and her lawyer, Ross Goodman, filed a federal lawsuit alleging court officials violated her civil rights.

Court officials investigated Rushfield in connection with an incident on May 20, 2010, in which he is alleged to have choked Crystal Williams, who was in Family Court to support a friend.

On Monday, Sullivan denied a Review-Journal request to take a photograph of Rushfield in his new courtroom job. The judge said it is not his policy to allow photographers in the courtroom during child abuse and neglect proceedings.

Sullivan also again refused to say who had asked him to hire the former supervisor.

A court administration spokeswoman said the administration did not make the request or have any “input” into Sullivan’s decision.

Rushfield has declined to comment on his decision to step aside from his supervisory duties.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter.

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