Mono County appeal hearing continued

MONO COURTHOUSEThe termination appeal case of a former Mono County Road Department mechanic continues to take twists and turns according to the appellant’s lawyer. The case was briefly back in session last week and continued until June 11th.

Katie Bellomo represents fired mechanic Dick Luman in this open and public appeal hearing.  She said, “There has been one unexpected thing after another.”  Luman claims that Road Supervisor Brett McCurry had created a hostile work environment and then physically assaulted him.  Mono County fired both men, claiming mutual combat.

Two of three eye witnesses to the incident say McCurry was the aggressor.  A Mono Sheriff’s deputy drew the same conclusion but then changed his report when Risk Manager Rita Sherman delivered the County’s Insurance Investigator’s report.  In that document, one of the eye witnesses changed his testimony from not seeing what happened to saying Luman was the aggressor. Bellomo said she finds it unusual for law enforcement to include a County investigation, which is not a neutral analysis.

Since the start of the hearing, Mono County gained permission to present more evidence.  Bellomo said the County Counsel’s office will present a document from the District Attorney who had decided not to prosecute anyone in the Road Department fight.  The closing document on the case listed the incident as mutual combat.  Bellomo disputes this evidence by saying that the DA spoke to just one witness.  Bellomo said DA Investigator Wade McCammond will take the stand again June 11th for more testimony. DA George Booth and Assistant Tim Kendall will also testify.

Another twist in this case – perceived tensions on the appeals board itself. A Mono County employee, Ken Goode, is one of the three appeal hearing board members.  Sources say it was his wife, Cheryl Goode, recently arrested on allegations of misappropriation of funds from the Bridgeport PUD.  The Sheriff’s Department investigated and Undersheriff Ralph Obenberger also sits on the three-person panel.

Attorney Bellomo says Mono County has tried to discredit the eye witnesses in this case.  The County did accuse employee Jim Kirby of perjury when he stated that he saw McCurry assault Luman.  He is appealing.  Brett McCurry is also appealing his firing.

More on the Luman case June 11th.  John Vallejo of the Mono County Counsel’s Office has declined to comment on this personnel case.

, , , , ,

50 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Limbaughism on the move
Limbaughism on the move
9 years ago

The right wing as a tremendous problem entertaining opposing points of view. All they can contribute is childish Limbaugh-sounding attacks such as “your posts suck” and absolutely nothing else. This is pure proof that when you get to the heart of the truth today, people rely on their Limbaughism hoping… Read more »

John Barton
John Barton
9 years ago

Wow. The pot calling the kettle black,…..again!

John Barton
John Barton
9 years ago

Tonto/Just the facts….. whoever you are, your posts suck and receive very little positive upside. In fact, your posts do little to further the conversation in a constructive way. If you prefer to call names why not use your own name instead of hiding behind numerous monikers?

Tonto
Tonto
9 years ago

It doesn’t become a hostile work environment until employees start hammering on each other at work. Then it’s bye-bye hostile workers.
Back to a non-hostile work environment.

Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger
9 years ago

How about Good hostile work environment cases? They share three common elements:

1. Your harassment is either severe, pervasive or both
2. You complained to Human Resources (HR) or a supervisor is aware of the harassment
3. Your employer failed to prevent and correct the harassment

Tonto
Tonto
9 years ago

Kimosabe – Do you have the slightest idea how difficult it is to terminate a government employee that belongs to a union in California? Of course unionized labor has something to do with this Bellomo fiasco. Our friends from the far-right call unions: America’s brand of socialism. But for some… Read more »

Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger
9 years ago

You are right Tonto…..Stupid can be very expensive!

Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger
9 years ago

Following the law has nothing to do with the Union…..Apples and Oranges! Nobody has disputed that Luman filed a hostile work complaint! Could the fight between Luman and McCurry have been prevented? Why wasn’t it investigated as required? A. Mono County is unaware that it is required to investigate of… Read more »

Just the facts
Just the facts
9 years ago

Although collective bargaining by government employee unions may offend one’s sense of justice, what’s truly unacceptable is government labor’s stranglehold over the local, state, and federal governments with which they bargain. Even here in deep-blue California, an intrepid state legislator is introducing a bill designed to prevent government employee unions… Read more »

Tonto
Tonto
9 years ago

Certainly getting into a brawl on government property after knowingly signing and dating an employment contract agrreeing to abide by this, then wanting to get rich over the incident is not outside the realm of possiblity, Lone Ranger. As sleazly as that is. Thankfully most At-Will and Union employees honor… Read more »

Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger
9 years ago

Violence in the workplace should not be tolerated anywhere, but should an employer try to intervene if they are aware of a problem? Evidently NOT in Mono County. Following “Just the Facts” logic….. The sheriff or police shouldn’t investigate a person who makes a threat because they haven’t committed MURDER.… Read more »

Just the facts
Just the facts
9 years ago
Reply to  Lone Ranger

It seems to me there are those refusing to take any responsibilty for violating the county employment contract (with a zero tolerance for violence in the workplace), and now are childishly whining (about their violent behavior on public grounds) “The Devil made me do it!” Translation: Why didn’t anybody (my… Read more »

Proof please
Proof please
9 years ago

Today in America everything is contractual. Otherwise it would be like a fascist state. Employees sign and date their employment contract that states they agree fully with the policy of zero tolerance of violence in the workplace. (a good policy if you ask me – this isn’t the wild, wild… Read more »

Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger
9 years ago

You must have missed the previous article by Benett Kessler and I won’t waste the time copying it. It is obvious that you do not feel that Mono County has any responsibility to investigate Hostile Workplace complaints, so they must be exempt from the law…… This article might reflect a… Read more »

Tonto
Tonto
9 years ago
Reply to  Lone Ranger

There can only be one reason Ms. Bellamo is trying desperately to drag this case on and on, subpoena everyone under the sun (County Supervisors included), repeat the same message she has been repeating day after day, and wasting valuable time and taxpayers’ money is simple – She hasn’t got… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Tonto

Please consider that legal and administrative processes are in place to help discover the truth when problems arise. There are eye witnesses to the alleged crime and to an alleged history of hostile situations. Why not allow the process to move forward and reveal to us the best truth discoverable,… Read more »

Just the facts
Just the facts
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Uh-oh! More thumbs down than thumbs up, Benett. This can only mean your posting is unacceptable by the tabulation (wink). Based on the anti-government/anti-authority posters on this particular subject and others, it would seem that there are some that simply will not be appeased (or enlightened) when it comes to… Read more »

Proof Please
Proof Please
9 years ago

I’m waiting to see some evidence of the county “changing the rules”in this case as “Ya think” is trying so desperately to prove.

It seems to me Bellamo is running out of conspiracy theories against the county and its procedures and policies.

Just the facts
Just the facts
9 years ago

With so much violent behavior and angst-ridden, red-neck political groups out there today, I personally have no problem with Mono County having a zero tolerance policy for violence at the workplace.

Just the facts
Just the facts
9 years ago

“Isn’t too much to ask …..” (continued) that those under their employ act in a responsible and non-violent manner in the workplace and not turn to violence on the job and expect everyone to turn the other cheek when they beat on each other like low-life rednecked individuals and ignore… Read more »

Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger
9 years ago

Management (“At Will”) are paid the big bucks to make good decisions for the county and to insure they follow the law. Isn’t too much to ask…….

Ya Think
Ya Think
9 years ago

Mono County gets what they deserve if they don’t follow proper procedures or the law. This whole thing has gotten bogged down with the County changing the rules, and trying to change the rules in the 4th Quarter when it appears that they aren’t going to prevail. Grown men/women make… Read more »

Just the facts
Just the facts
9 years ago
Reply to  Ya Think

As a matter of fact, At-Will employees do NOT have the same right.

That'll learn ya
That'll learn ya
9 years ago

…and if you ever THINK of firing a union employee again, you’ll see a trial that will go on for a decade or longer all at the taxpayer’s expense.

Solidarity! Solidarity! Solidarity!

Just the Truth
Just the Truth
9 years ago

Which is it? Mr. Luman shouldn’t get a hearing because he is a union member OR he shouldn’t get a hearing because the union is not representing Him? Am I missing something? Oh yea…you don’t think employees shouldn’t be entitled to a hearing! I keep forgetting your point. Are you… Read more »

Get back on subject!~~
Get back on subject!~~
9 years ago

This Union stuff is totally off track. Don’t you care about another human being being unjustly terminated? If you know something that would repute “Just the Truth” above….spit it out! We would love to hear it.

the way I see it
the way I see it
9 years ago

Grown men acting out their bad-ass, red-neck fantasies with violence has no place in society NOR the workplace.

Unjustly terminated? Not in any civilized society I know of.

Think Before Writing
Think Before Writing
9 years ago

Oh, so you were there?????

Rabid Right (cont)
Rabid Right (cont)
9 years ago

Why do you suppose the Union is NOT representing (paying for) the defense of Luman?

Bellomo would like to subpoena the entire county if they let her, dragging this thing on forever repeating testimonies, etc. …

Rabid Right
Rabid Right
9 years ago

A prime example of typical Tea Party – sounding nastiness: “You put your foot in your mouth!” and … “There are no unions in Mono County!” This is the kind of ignorance and divisive far-right nonsense that is polarizing the entire country and find their way onto blogs such as… Read more »

Dave
Dave
9 years ago
Reply to  Rabid Right

“Rabid right” akc “Just the facts” aka “Polarized america” aka… Your public display of ignorance cannot hide behind monikers. You stand out like a stinky gym sock.

jose chavez
jose chavez
9 years ago

thank goodness for free speech….you guys dont have anything better to do up in the sierras than to bash each other…..there are far more important issues to be addressed…..

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  jose chavez

I have plenty of time to bash on flat landers . Just practicing my free speech.

Rob
Rob
9 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

hey Trouble – Everyone in the lower 48 is a flat lander. Especially when you rely on first responders and public transportation.

If you’re not sourdough, you’re a flat lander.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Rob…AND we can’t see Russia from our front window….

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  Rob

I was just mouthing off Rob.

Rob
Rob
9 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Good job Trouble, keep it up.

I’ll be in Ak next month. My buddy makes sure everyone knows I’m from California, he’s always laughing when he says it too.

LOCAL 39, AFL-CIO,
LOCAL 39, AFL-CIO,
9 years ago

ARTICLE 1. PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; PURPOSES A. Parties The parties to this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are: the County of Mono, acting by and through the Mono County Board of Supervisors; and, the International Union of Operating Engineers, Stationary Local 39, AFL-CIO, which is the majority representative of the employee bargaining… Read more »

Union Buster
Union Buster
9 years ago

Dear Just the facts, These public employees are simply exercising their right to appeal under the CA Government code. This has nothing to do with a union. In fact county mechanics are represented under the “Miscellaneous Public Employees” bargaining unit. They have no power. The county in the end has… Read more »

Just the Truth
Just the Truth
9 years ago

Mr. “Just the Facts”…. Since you won’t answer any questions, lets see if I can give you some. My apologies for the length of this comment. 1. Did Mr. Luman file a Hostile Workplace complaint? YES 2. Did the county investigate it? No 3. Who is responsible for Hostile Workplace… Read more »

Just the facts
Just the facts
9 years ago

So long as you have the foolish notion of unionized government employees – you are going to have this sort of nonsense.

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  Just the facts

Just The Facts- I can’t figure out if you are a Republican or a Democrat. I know you wrongly blasted me, accusing me of being a right winger because I stated my opinion of mule days. I would love to hear who you support to run this country???

Just the facts
Just the facts
9 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Funny how things have become so bizarre today for some, that one must be labled a member of one political party or the other. That’s the black-or-white mentality that has swept the country ever since hate-mongers like Rush Limbaugh have convinced the weaker minds to tune in to his rants… Read more »

Nothing to do in Bridgeport
Nothing to do in Bridgeport
9 years ago

Katie Bellomo now wants to call in umpteen more witnesses dragging this clearcut case on … forever (who is paying for this?). At least the other miscreant involved in the chidish fracus was mature enough to take his medicine like a man and accept his due punishment. And, of course… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago

Nothing to do, Not sure what you mean by someone taking “his medicine.” All parties dicsiplined or fired are appealing. BK

just one
just one
9 years ago

ALL THREE MEN INVOLVED ARE APPEALING THIER TERMINATION where on earth do you get your information? do you pull it from a hat?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  just one

Is that a rhetorical question? According to County records and attorney statements, Mr. Luman, Jim Kirby and Brett McCurry are appealing their various disciplines. Next time, ask me more politely. Your sarcasm is petty and unnecessary. Also, FYI Luman and McCurry are appealing their terminations. Kirby was disciplined with three… Read more »

just one
just one
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Bennet, if you were asking me if I was being rhetorical. No and I must have put in the wrong spot cause I was replying with your same information to Nothing to do in Bridgeport. Who obviously doesn’t know that we have plenty to do and that only one of… Read more »

Enough
Enough
9 years ago

I notice that we still have not heard anybody denying that Mr. Luman’s filed a hostile work complaint. That tells me that he did! The person responsible for allowing his complaint to go uninvestigated should be terminated. He/She is getting paid to oversee this facet for the county which is… Read more »

The way it goes
The way it goes
9 years ago

Just another happy day in Happy Valley.