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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15 Responses to Mono road supervisor, fired for fighting, gets job back

  1. Fair and honest reporting August 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    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.

  2. Just another one.... August 31, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    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 at an all -time low. No one wants to complain about anything for fear of being branded a “whiner” or a “problem child”. Sierragrl has it right. Although, misdirected angst, the elected officials only know what they are told, specifically by County Administration. Any one can spin a convincing story and influence others if theirs is the only tale being told. They are being blatantly lied to, but there is no one brave (or stupid) enough to stand up and contradict the lies.

  3. john August 30, 2012 at 10:55 am #

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

  4. Disgusting..... August 30, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    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 Millions for their stupidity.

    • misdirected angst August 30, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      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 sign an anti-corruption statement that fines them for their misdeeds.
      Until then – it’s the same ol’ – same ol’.

    • Not much peace today August 31, 2012 at 6:39 am #

      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 the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.

      Why do you suppose there is so much of that in this beautiful, natural place?
      One would think a feeling of peace and tranquility would abound.

      It clearly does not.

      • Society in big trouble. August 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm #


        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 sources of anger and hostility. We can see it in terms of a lack of awareness, as wel as an active misconstruing of reality.

        A quick perusal of the postings on formats such as these, indicates that our society is in deep, deep trouble.

  5. Administrative joke August 30, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    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!

  6. Poor Richard August 30, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Snitches get stitches!

  7. Citizen Jane August 30, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    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!

  8. Scholl Bowl August 30, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    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 to be done about the leaders of this county! They are an embarrassment and will be the downfall of Mono county! It is just wrong that honest hardworking people should have to put up and pay for their unscrupulous acts!

  9. sierragrl August 30, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    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 work for Mono County, but something is definitely fishy here.

    • SierraFan August 30, 2012 at 9:52 am #

      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 August 30, 2012 at 10:05 am #

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

  10. An idle mind August 30, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    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 work activities in the Bridgeport area.


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