Craig Kovaleski: Vero Beach father falsely charged with child abuse sues sheriff, arresting deputy

Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar

Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar

By: Lamaur Stancil, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- A father proven to have been falsely charged with child neglect has filed a lawsuit, according to the U.S. District Court's Southern District.

The $75,000 lawsuit lists Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar and Deputy Michael Cavanaugh as the defendants. Stuart attorney Guy Rubin said his client, Craig Kovaleski, was taken into custody by Cavanaugh on a false charge of child neglect after the deputy entered the home without cause Oct. 10, 2013.

The State Attorney's Office dropped the child neglect charge and Cavanaugh was suspended for 60 hours following a Sheriff's Office internal affairs review. The investigation concluded that Cavanaugh lied in his report about the encounter with Kovaleski. Surveillance cameras at Kovaleski's home verified his account, investigators concluded.