Mono road supervisor, fired for fighting, gets job back

In April, then Mono County mechanic Dick Luman went public to say that he was fired after road department Supervisor Brett McCurry assaulted him. McCurry was also fired. Luman appealed and lost after weeks of open hearing. Two out of three eye witnesses supported Luman’s claim. Last Friday in a two-hour closed appeal hearing, Brett McCurry was reinstated to his county job. Luman’s attorney thinks the fix was in against her client and that a “good old boy mentality” operates in Bridgeport.

Testimony in Luman’s appeal case told of employees’ gripes that McCurry had created a hostile work environment with intimidation and bad language. Witnesses said Luman had gone with an employee to complain about McCurry to another supervisor. Two eye witnesses said that they saw McCurry slam Luman up against a tool cabinet and fight with him. A third witness had not contradicted that report at first but later claimed he saw Luman strike McCurry.

In the written decision against Luman’s appeal, board members admitted that the County should have acted sooner to address Brett McCurry’s “inappropriate conduct in the workplace.”

Luman’s attorney Katie Bellomo called McCurry’s appeal hearing “rigged” with two of his close friends selected for the Personnel Appeal Board by the Union. She said, “If Mono County had wanted a fair hearing and a good case, they would not have allowed the god son of one of McCurry’s children to sit on the panel.” She said Mono County essentially suspended McCurry for three months, paid him for two of those months and then gave him his job back.

Bellomo also said that it was her understanding that the County Counsel did not call Dick Luman or two of the eye witnesses to testify in McCurry’s case. A third eyewitness who changed his story and backed McCurry did reportedly testify. Bellomo said she thinks McCurry testified for Mono County against Luman “and then got his job back.”

Asked why she believes Luman was targeted by Mono County for firing, Bellomo said that he is “not a good old boy” and had filed previous workers compensation claims against the County. She said the County had tried to deny Luman treatment. Bellomo said during Luman’s appeal hearing there were “no complaints about Dick’s work.” She said there was no evidence he was a troublemaker and one witness said he “doesn’t even use foul language.” Bellomo said Luman  plans to go to Superior Court over the loss of his appeal.

We placed calls for comment to Mono County Counsel John Vallejo, Union Representative Jerry Frederick and County Administrator Jim Arkens. Arkens was out of town, and we have not yet received return calls from either Vallejo or Frederick.

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Fair and honest reporting
Fair and honest reporting
9 years ago

It seems to me the only fair and accurate way to report on things happening in Mono County is to actually live in Mono County.
Otherwise everything ends up in a hate-driven dogfight.

Just another one....
Just another one....
9 years ago

Unfortunately, the stream of consciousness to come out of all this is that the county employees, ones who actually care about doing a good job and staying out of the line of fire, now feel that aggression and heavy-handed management techniques are encouraged and rewarded in the workplace. Morale is… Read more »

john
john
9 years ago

Judge Roy Bean had nothin’ over the Mono County good ol’ boys.

Disgusting.....
Disgusting.....
9 years ago

This sounds like something right out of the 1920’s Chicago Mob Handbook. You guys can’t be serious! Mr. Arkens……Is this another chapter in your trail of tears? Ms. Sherman, Mr. Vallejo, Mr. Obenberger….you should be ashamed of yourself for playing along with the charade. FIRE THEM ALL……before it costs Mono… Read more »

misdirected angst
misdirected angst
9 years ago

You’re going after the wrong people, Disgusting. Don’t forget that your elected officials are the people who direct everything the administrators of the county do. Everything! They are the Head honchos. The Big Cheeses, The Wheels that turn the county. One term – out of there. At least have them… Read more »

Not much peace today
Not much peace today
9 years ago

It would be much more constructive if people tried to understand their supposed enemies. Learning to forgive and understand is much more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it as the object of one’s anger, the more so when the provocation is extreme. For it is under… Read more »

Society in big trouble.
Society in big trouble.
9 years ago

Hmmm. 4 “thumbs down” to the ridiculous notion of retraining the mind to serve and find inner peace instead of demeaning, demoralizing, and insulting one another. Subconscious anger, would have more to do with what is called mental unhappiness or dissatisfaction, in the sense that they are regarded as the… Read more »

Administrative joke
Administrative joke
9 years ago

The two hour appeal hearing tells the story… They knew from the beginning what the were going to do. We all know it. The Mono County Administration is nothing more than a pathetic joke. I don’t know how these people sleep at night. Sad cases the lot of them!

Poor Richard
Poor Richard
9 years ago

Snitches get stitches!

Citizen Jane
Citizen Jane
9 years ago

The good ole boy system at it’s finest! The rules only apply to some and the back door deals continue! Just as the readers predicted weeks ago… This is a travisty of justice and an perfect example Mono County corruption!

Scholl Bowl
Scholl Bowl
9 years ago

At least you have intelligent readers Benett. They prediicted the shady and appalling outcome of this whole situation! Mono County is as crooked and as corrupt as a county can possibly be and only get away with their shameful and disgusting tactics because it is so small! Something really needs… Read more »

sierragrl
sierragrl
9 years ago

Let’s see…the county claims zero tolerance as to why both parties had to be fired regardless of who ‘started it’ etc….yet they rehire the SUPERVISOR, who in theory would have had a higher standard of behavior to adhere to??? I don’t know any of the parties involved nor do I… Read more »

SierraFan
SierraFan
9 years ago
Reply to  sierragrl

If it looks like a fish and smells like a fish….. then it probably is a fish!! Something doesn’t equate here based on what’s been reported of course.

adversarial scorecard
adversarial scorecard
9 years ago
Reply to  sierragrl

Seems to me, one guy’s attorney was more competent than the other guy’s attorney.

An idle mind
An idle mind
9 years ago

It is to my understanding there is much tension in the community. One would think the beauty of the natural surroundings would produce a calming effect, but it clearly does not. People need many things to stimulate the mind especially in remote areas. It appears there are not enough after… Read more »