Madrid keeps Mono County in federal suit

Former Mono County Deputy Jon Madrid

Former Mono County Deputy Jon Madrid

Former Mono County Deputy Jon Madrid, subject of a highly publicized termination and an arbitration and court hearing which ruled in his favor, has succeeded in keeping Mono County government locked in a federal court fight over his First Amendment rights.

Defendants in Madrid’s US District Court case include Mono County government, former Sheriff Rick Scholl, current Sheriff Ralph Obenberger and former Mono Lieutenant Dave O’Hara. Mono County filed a motion to dismiss the three actions brought by Madrid – one civil rights violation and two whistleblower claims. Chief Judge of US District Court, Morrison England, Jr., denied the County’s motion to dismiss under two causes of action and granted dismissal in one.

The Judge’s decision recites the facts now familiar to Mono County residents – the seven years of Madrid’s outstanding service commended on his record. Then in 2008, Madrid spoke out about what he believed was the mishandling of medications for jail inmates and about a false police report.

The Judge’s decision says O’Hara “issued a written directive to Plaintiff that he not report crimes or emergencies, or personally render assistance to those in need, while off-duty.” The decision says Madrid alleges County employees retaliated against him by denying his advanced P.O.S.T. Certificate and pay increase. Madrid said O’Hara was overheard saying it was his goal to have Madrid terminated.

The Judge’s decision continues to lay out a laundry list of mistreatment, which included, menial tasks for the purpose of humiliating Madrid. That’s the forced sitting in a chair at the Sheriff’s Department all day long. When Madrid won his administrative appeal, the County and Sheriff’s officers claimed Madrid abandoned his job.

As to the Civil Rights violation lodged against Mono County, Madrid contends County government was involved because “the Board of Supervisors of the County delegated to the Sheriff their final policymaking authority ‘for all purposes connected with the management of employment’.” The Judge finds Madrid’s allegations as sufficient to withstand the County’s motion to dismiss under the civil rights law.

On the whistleblower statue, the Judge’s decision explains that an employer “shall not retaliate against an employee for disclosing information.” The Judge says Madrid alleges he was subject to “adverse employment action in the form of persistent harassment, fraudulent misconduct investigations, and termination.”

The Judge refuses to dismiss the whistleblower claim regarding a false police report, but did dismiss the one involving handling of medications because no specific law violation was alleged. However, Madrid’s attorneys have 30 days in which to amend this document. So, Mono County continues as a defendant in the Madrid federal case.

This case will move forward, and still pending is Madrid’s reinstatement as now ordered by an Arbitrator and a Superior Court Judge.

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11 Responses to Madrid keeps Mono County in federal suit

  1. Trigger July 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    I would also say that Roy is dead right but add a couple more thoughts. Doesn’t county counsel know the whole truth? Why would they keep defending something that was obviously a wrong? Stop the legal games and do the right thing!~ Settle it and move on! It ain’t going to get prettier or cheaper.

  2. Roy June 30, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    To the officials of Mono County,,,, admit you made a mistake in this case, settle the case and quit wasting the money of the taxpayers of Mono County…

    • Atta Boy Roy! July 1, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

      You know Roy that would require some ethics, morals, business sense, but all this county ever functions off is egos. The whole reason this case has ended up where it is right now is egos. You have a sheriff’s department that is so out of control with egomaniacs and is being run by an administration that disregards, laws, county policies, MOU’s, POBAR rights, arbitrators rulings, and judges rulings. A BOS that lets a County Counsel tell them what to do without any investigation or reasonable thought of their own. You would think the least they could do is their own independent investigation into this situation or at a minimum referral to the Grand Jury (not that MC Grand Jury ever does anything except make suggestions) but at least it would be something proactive as opposed to just continually listening to people that have more to gain by lying to them or convincing them that they can win this case.

      You would think after a arbitrator and a superior court judge put in writing how corrupt and abusive this department is they might get a hint that IT IS!

      Instead they will hire two law firms to fight a fight that the County Counsel is so inept that they cannot handle it themselves. Really????

      When the Federal Lawsuit is ruled on what will their excuses be then??? This is a huge abuse of taxpayer money and no one is answering for it. Why is that?

      Thank god the voters were smarter than all these people and took action! June 3rd was a huge step in the right direction! Two Cancers out of the cluster!

  3. Just the tip of the iceberg June 30, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg for the times to come. The truth will continue to come out and the sad part is the citizens of Mono County will be the ones left holding the bag. The citizens are just are much victims of these deplorable acts as Deputy Madrid is. It is pathetic that it has to come to a Federal Lawsuit just to get the truth out in this county.

    The people that conspired against Deputy Madrid and concocted this whole situation can run, but they can’t hide. Everyone knows now and the truth will continue to keep coming out. It is only a matter of time. Remember every time you look in the mirror you caused this yourself. All the people that know you and interact with you are thinking about it. They just won’t say anything. Hope it was worth it.

  4. Rick O'Brien June 30, 2014 at 4:06 am #

    This is the case that got the ball rolling and was the beginning of the end for Obie 1. The entire county owes you a HUGE thank you for sticking to your guns, (soon to be again) DEPUTY Madrid.

  5. Nes Lessman June 29, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    May the best Liar win!

  6. Witness June 29, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    I sure see a theme developing! Everyone involved in this case can be referred to as either, ex-sheriff Scholl, soon to be ex- appointed sheriff obenberger, ex-CAO Jim Arkins, ex-human resources/workers comp adjuster Rita Sherman, ex-leiutenant OHara, soon to be ex-appointed undersheriff Robert weber!!!!! I definitely see two more names that should be attached to this list but I guess county counsel doesn’t see reality! Nor do they care about frivolously spending citizens tax dollars defending a losing case! Or should I say multiple losing cases!

    Marshall Rudolph was even overheard in a management meeting stating “No one can believe what the read in the press! There is more to the story! ” Let’s hear it Marshall Rudolph what is the rest of the story? You and your staff have had every opportunity to present your case! Looks like you’ve ran out of room! Oh thats right hire someone else because your incompetent! That’s just my opinion! Or is it?

    Everyone has read the actual words written by an arbitrator, a judge and a federal judge!

    What is next, your going to declare that the federal judge is biased?

  7. The plot thickens June 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    The County of Mono no longer represents Ex Sheriff Scholl, Ex appointed Sheriff Obenberger, or Ex Lieutenant O’hara in this Federal Lawsuit.

    If they truly did nothing wrong wouldn’t the County be standing by them and continuing to represent them????

    Read between the lines folks,,, the plot thickens!

    • Karma and Truth June 29, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      They aren’t just knocking on the door, they are beating it down begging to come out and play.

      Ex Sheriif Scholl
      Soon to be Ex Sheriif Obenberger
      Soon to be Ex Undersheriff Weber
      Ex CAO Arkens
      Ex Head of HR Rita Sherman

      That’s a lot of Ex’s…. Seems to be a theme. Stand by to stand by. Karma is on a roll.

    • Pedro June 29, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

      Right or wrong, the County would drop them as ex employees to cover their own asses. Lawyers are expensive and ex employees expendable.

  8. Point of Fact June 29, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    Having read the determination I would like to add that even though the judge granted the leave of the jail medication issue, he did allow Madrid’s attorneys 30 days to amend it and cite the laws that MCSO broke and then he will reconsider that portion of the lawsuit. More than likely that complaint will be accepted also. If the judge thought it had no merit he would not have allowed Madrid’s attorneys the opportunity to amend it.

    Another point I would like to make clear is even though Scholl, Obenberger, and O’Hara have been personally named and accepted by Federal Judge England it doesn’t mean more defendants will not be added. That is the reason there are does listed on the Federal Lawsuit. I am sure discovery will be very enlighting and will add names as it progresses.


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