Mono County appeals Madrid arbitration

mono_courthouse_10-081.jpgWhile former Mono County Deputy Jon Madrid sues Mono County and Sheriff’s personnel in federal court for violating his right of free speech, Mono County has filed a writ to appeal the arbitration that ordered Madrid to be reinstated and given full back pay.

In the federal case, Madrid’s attorney alleges a pattern of retaliation against his client once Madrid spoke out about policies of handling medications in the jail and about an alleged falsified report by another officer.

Former Mono Sheriff Rick Scholl terminated Madrid in 2011. The Sheriff alleged that Madrid violated performance standards, used poor judgment, was insubordinate, misused a cell phone, and falsified time sheets for $380.
The Sheriff alleged that Madrid’s history of “questionable honesty” led to his firing.

Arbitrator John D. Perone disagreed after hearing testimony, some of which was from other deputies who said they had made mistakes on time sheets but were told about it and not accused of theft.

Arbitrator Perone wrote in his decision that six months after Madrid went on administrative leave, Sheriff Scholl, then-Undersheriff Ralph Obenberger and Lieutenant Rob Weber decided to reassign Deputy Madrid to sit in a chair in the Sheriff’s Office lobby as punishment. The arbitration decision said that when Madrid fell asleep in the chair, the Sheriff launched an Internal Affairs Investigation for sleeping on the job. Arbitrator Perone called this “an abuse of discretion.”

Perone also said Sheriff’s management acted in a “discriminatory and capricious manner which was unreasonable under the circumstances.” He wrote that charges against Jon Madrid were not proven by a preponderance of evidence and just cause for his termination does not exist. He dismissed charges and ordered reinstatement of Madrid with back pay.

Mono County has not reinstated Madrid. Instead the County hired a Los Angeles law firm to file a writ that appeals the arbitrator’s decision. Mono County claims the arbitrator exceeded his jurisdiction and committed a prejudicial abuse of discretion because his decision was not supported by the findings. The County wants the Court to set aside the Arbitrator’s decision and issue an order that upholds Madrid’s dismissal.


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28 Responses to Mono County appeals Madrid arbitration

  1. John September 21, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    It’s really pathetic that Mono County Counsel had just enough legal knowledge to let this fiasco snowball into what it is now, instead of “nipping it in the bud” when they had the chance.
    Now, when the going gets tough, they have to hire real lawyers at the expense of the taxpayers. Way to go Marshall, Stacey and John.

  2. HOLD THE PRESS! September 15, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Russ has done a great job of pointing out the “MODUS OPERANDI” (For Daisy Duke: Method of Operation) at the Sheriff’s Department! Isn’t that SCARY?

    I doubt anybody will actually do a thing about it. Easier to just close your eyes and pretend that all is OK!

  3. Crazy September 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Mr. Reese, I thought this was America land of the free! Not a dictatorship!

    So the rules and laws that were created only apply to subordinates! the ( leaders) as you put it, Can commit crimes and violate rights without being held accountable!

    So if that leader violates the very laws he is sworn to uphold, based on your off the wall comment, he can because that’s what he wants!

    Guess you had better move to china, or better yet north Korea! You would be more at home there!

  4. Little One September 15, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Russ, yes Chain of Command is important, but so are the policies and procedures that are in place for that organization to run effectively. If they are not followed by all employees, including the leaders, that would make me question if the right people are in command. Most of all, just because you are a leader, doesn’t mean you can treat people with disrespect and degrading behavior. Not all leaders have the judgment it takes to lead, good superiors lead with good example not threats. Superiors need to be held to an even higher standard then the people they supervise. I was a high level supervisor for over 200 people, I worked my way up with hard work, and working other supervisors to make the needed changes to have a well run and respected organization.

  5. Wow September 15, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    Mr. Reece,

    Last time I checked a Sheriff’s Department is made up of layers for a reason. To build a team with individual ideas and strengths that should come together to form a LAW ABIDING department and not a dictatorship like the Mono County Sheriff’s department.

    I think your attitude is just plain scary, but it is the perfect example of what this Sheriff’s departments is being run like.

  6. Russ Reese September 15, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    Hey Folks! Keep In Mind That A Chain Of Command Organization Is Not A Democracy, In Order For It To Function Effectively, The Ultimate Leader Must Have The Authority And Latitude To Call The Shots As He Sees Fit. Those Decisions Do Not Have To Be “Fair”. All LEO Personnel Learned That Fact The Hard Way In The Sheriffs Academy. That’s The Way It Is, And Subordinates Had Damned Well Pay Attention To What His Superior Thinks And wants

    • Hey Russ.... September 15, 2013 at 11:48 am #

      Wait a minute…..Are you in the USA or N. Korea? We are governed by the rule of law and our constitution. If I read your post right, you are saying that deputies are required to obey your superiors no matter what. If you have read or taken the oath of office for peace officers, it sure doesn’t say that.

      Sorry Russ, but you are totally off base. We are supposed to have leaders are not dictators!

    • Yogi September 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

      Could someone post a copy of Mono SO sworn oath? Police oaths usually cover US Constitution and law, state and local law, before they get to obeying more immediate supervision.
      So yes, there is a chain of command

    • Tourbillon September 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      I’m impressed Russ. I had thought the “just follow orders” mindset died with the war criminals who were hung at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII, but here you are to correct me. Thank you. Always willing to take a lesson.

      Hail victory, as one might say in English, eh komrade?

  7. Amen September 14, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    I agree with you Little One the Attorney General should be called in. It is obvious that the BOS aren’t going to do anything about this shameless administration. The Grand Jury is a joke here too. They are too afraid to speak up against Obe and his administration. That has been proven time and time again in the past grand jury investigations they have done.

    Actually MOST people here are afraid to speak up, because they know they will be retaliated against. Thank you for having the courage to speak up! Wish more people would stand up for what is right!

    If anything people learn from this it should be who NOT to elect sheriff in 2014!

  8. Little One September 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    It’s time for the Attorney General to get involved. Nothing will be done, if left up to the county. The grand jury is not the answer, that’s been tired before, it’s the right hand protecting the left hand, its a joke. Thank you John Barton for your comment, our family has been in Mono County for over 80 years, four generations and have known many deputies and sheriffs, this is the worst. I hope Jon Madrid prevails, he is the only deputy that has stood up for himself and others. When it’s election time we all need to choose wisely, lets not repeat the same mistakes.

  9. Disgraceful September 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Does anybody want to know the truth? Instead of legal mumble jumble, how the Board of Supervisors initiating an independent investigation? Could there really be something wrong? Aren’t you tired of “no comment” because the matter is in litigation? What am I thinking? It is just the taxpayers money! Spend spend spend with no resolution and all the attorney’s going cha ching all the way to the bank.

    Seriously, does anybody care about Madrid or the other deputies and more importantly the “truth”? When is the Board of Supervisors going to do something besides meet with County Counsel?

  10. Scarlet September 13, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Benett or someone else that knows.

    Can you explain to me why Mono County had to hire a firm Los Angeles law firm to handle this WRIT? Why can’t the Mono County Legal department handle this WRIT? What do they get paid for if they aren’t capable of handling that?

    How much does this firm cost the Mono County taxpayers? A better question would be what are they going to do about the Federal Lawsuit? Hire this firm for that or another firm?

    Since there are multiple SO members personally named who is going to pay to defend them? Benett said there are multiple unnamed defendants that will also be named in the lawsuit her last story. I sure hope it is not the taxpayers! From what I have read so far they don’t deserve to be defended either!

    • Mark September 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      In the end the taxpayers always foot the bill.

  11. In the know September 13, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Hey big Rick, I agree with you! I’m sure there is someone out there who actually has experience and integrity to be sheriff and undersheriff!

    Wait a minute, Isn’t Ralph obenberger and robert weber currently At WILL employees?

    How much money are they costing the tax payers of mono county?

    I wonder if the board of supervisors are even paying attention!

  12. Little One September 13, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Why hasn’t Obenberger, Weber, O’Hara and Scholl been investigated for worker comp. claims? Has their time sheets been checked, would like to know how much overtime and been paid to above!!!!

    • John Barton September 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

      That’s an easy one Little One. It’s the good ol’ boy society in a lot of these rural counties. They watch each others’ backs and any outsider who comes in and questions things gets the shaft. All these deputies are as thick as thieves. They go on hunting trips together, get drunk, swap stories about their arrests and people around town etc. I know this because a friend of mine was on one of these good ol’ boy trips as a guest of another Mono Cnty employee. You might be shocked about what really goes on behind the scenes and the county is willing to cover that up at apparently any cost. The Fed lawsuit might actually bring to light some of it. Stay tuned.

  13. Big Rick OBrien September 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Remember this people, and ALL the other B.S. that has gone down in the last 2 years with the Sheriff’s Dept. when the next election rolls around. Show OB1 to the door, and get a sheriff that’s got some integrity & doesn’t play games with people’s lives. Weber needs to go, too.!

  14. Baffled September 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    At Smokey Bear,

    Actually no you are mistaken. Go back and read Benett’s articles. I did. It is all there and that is why I asked if it makes sense to anyone else.

    Deputy Madrid filed his Hostile Workplace Complaint in April 2011.

    In July 2011 they started their “investigation” of his missing CTO slips.

    On November 9, 2011 they fired Deputy Madrid.

    In May and June 2012 is when the made him sit in the lobby unarmed as his “punishment”

    I do agree with you that there is a dark cloud over the MCSO! It is called abuse of authority and bullying of employees.

    • Yogi September 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

      This story says he was on administrative leave. Maybe he was still in legal limbo?

    • Smokey Bear September 13, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      Gosh I STILL find that hard to believe. But so be it, if it’s true Mono County better get their checkbook out and there is obviously a problem within the Mono County Sheriff dept.

  15. And the questions.... September 12, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    1. Was/Is there a problem with how medications were/are handled/dispensed at the jail? Do they have a doctor/nurse to dispense them?

    2. Was there a falsified report? What did this involve? Who?

    3. Was there an agreement with Mr. Perone that his findings would be binding?

    4. Does anybody actually think that a person would take a chance on losing their career for $362?

    I think the Sheriff should be able to answer these questions……

    • Benett Kessler September 12, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      The Sheriff has said he can not comment on ongoing litigation. I don’t know about the first two questions. It was not binding arbitration.

      Will check further.
      Benett Kessler

  16. Mono County Drama September 12, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Don’t forget that all these things happened to Deputy Madrid after he filed a Hostile Workplace Complaint against David O’Hara, Ralph Obenberger, Robert Weber, Richard Scholl and Jeff Beard the very people that investigated his “alleged” falsified time sheets.

    What Law Enforcement agency would handle an investigation themselves after that was filed? NONE

    • Saga continues.... September 12, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      Is Mono county living in the 50’s? Who in their right mind treats another human being like this at this day and age? Good for Deputy Madrid for being strong and not letting their bullying push him to quit. I can’t imagine how other employers get away with it, let alone a law enforcement agency.

      I have found that people that abuse their authority often times are trying to compensate for something.

  17. Baffled September 12, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    I would like to know how a terminated employee can be ordered to sit in a chair when they have already been fired? Sounds like nothing but pure harassment to me.

    I would also like to know how an internal affairs investigation can be done on someone that is already fired? Sounds like more continued harassment.

    I would say it is the “Good Ole Boy” Mono County way… harass and continue to persecute anyone that speaks out against wrong doings. Harass, harass, harass until they resign….. isn’t that what this is really all about?

    Do any of these things make sense to anyone else?

    • Smokey Bear September 12, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Baffled – it doesn’t make sense because you don’t have the story correct.

      He was ordered to sit in the chair after filing a complaint and before he was fired.

      There’s a dark cloud forming over the Mono County Sheriff dept.

      • Yogi September 12, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

        More like a plague of cockroaches.


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