Mono County appeals Luman case

monocourthouse2008Last month, Judge Stan Eller issued an order for Mono County to reinstate terminated employee Dick Luman with all pay and benefits with interest. Instead, Mono County has now filed a notice of appeal of Judge Eller’s order.

Mono County fired Dick Luman two and a half years ago. He had worked for 15 years as a mechanic in the Road Department. Disagreements had developed between Luman and his supervisor, Brett McCurry. Finally an altercation took place and both Luman and McCurry were fired. McCurry was reinstated after a closed appeal hearing. Luman was alleged to have said something threatening to McCurry. Luman’s appeal board upheld his termination.

Attorney Katie Bellomo took Luman’s case to Superior Court where Judge Stan Eller recently ruled that Luman should not have been fired. The Judge’s decision said that evidence supported that Luman had made a threat and misleading statements but that “the most extreme form of penalty, termination of employment, was grossly excessive.”

The Judge’s decision pointed out that Luman had worked for Mono County for many years with no prior history of any discipline and was characterized as responsible, capable and trustworthy. The order said Luman was promoted to the highest level in his job classification. The Judge called the incident with McCurry “isolated.” He also said that Mr. Luman “got the worst of it as he suffered a cracked rib and a hernia requiring surgery.”

The notice filed by the Mono County Counsel’s office does not say on what grounds the County will appeal Judge Eller’s order regarding Luman. The Judge had also ordered that Mr. Luman be given a new penalty hearing that would result in something less than termination. Apparently that will not happen either as the County pursues an appeal.

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25 Responses to Mono County appeals Luman case

  1. Gistine May 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    Oh, the things I could tell you people, but I am legally prohibited in doing so. What I will say is you are all correct. The corruption, mismanagement, lies, turning of a blind-eye, injustice, illegal conduct – it’s all there and I have lived it and continue to live it. As I have mentioned before, these people will support each other to the teeth, even though they know laws have been broken because they cannot set a precedent. Even worse are the immunities these public entities have. You think you’re disgusted now? Just wait.

  2. John May 21, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Mono County has had such a free rein to violate people’s rights for so long now, they just can’t accept change. Marshall Rudolph is just doing whats he’s always done, and whats always been done in this county. Mono County Code is set up so that if you’re a good ol’ boy, Code doesn’t get enforced. If County Code Isn’t working for Marshall’s immediate need, he’ll just change it it to suit his need.

    • Agreed May 21, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

      Marshall Rudolph isn’t the only one that does this. Ralph Obenberger does this same thing over and over.

      When there is a policy that doesn’t suit his needs he just changes it. Never sends it through the DSA or anything.

      Case in point the no light duty policy. He hurts his leg jumping a wooding truck (for his own personal use BTW) while he was on duty and because he doesn’t want to burn his own time he changes the light duty policy without putting it through the DSA or even telling the deputies.

      Obenberger and Scholl don’t want any of the deputies supporting Doug Northington they write up a policy stating that there will be no politicking on duty. Obviously Obenberger believes that doesn’t pertain to himself, because he didn’t hesitate to use taxpayers time to collect signatures and politic on duty. Great example by the way!

      I could go on and on….. it is a joke, but the joke is really on them, because County Code does not supersede State or Federal law and they will be taken to task on both soon.

      The Good Ole Boy defense doesn’t hold up in Federal Court. LOL

      • Really May 22, 2014 at 9:36 am #

        It sounds like in Mono County Government, JUSTICE really means JUST US!

  3. Remember June 3rd May 21, 2014 at 6:02 am #

    Remember June 3rd fellow citizens which candidate for sheriff did not have the integrity or fortitude to recuse himself from being on this panel! He knew full well it was a conflict of interest and still didn’t have the morals to what was right, even when this issue was brought up during the hearing. He still refused to recuse himself. He was on it for a reason folks! In fact that is why he was chairman.

    This is just another example why he should not be sheriff! We need a sheriff that is honest and actually has integrity! Not what we currently have!

  4. MK May 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    As others have stated so well.
    This will go on and on until the county decides to stop. The county will take this case to the highest court.
    The county has an endless supply of money. This is proof that they intend to use it!

    This is very typical of government.

  5. Watching May 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    Dark times ahead for Mono County. The smarter employees are getting ready to bail leaving the same inept elected officials running everything …
    into the ground.

  6. Bob May 20, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    What ever happen to UpTheCreek?

    This would be a good time for UpTheCreek’s Gov gone wild comment

  7. I wonder May 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    I wonder when this board will wake up! The upper management get to keep there employees beat down. I think that if this new CAO would wipe the top off and get people in here that have some kind of connection with mono county like living in the county they might be more interested iin saving this county.

  8. Desert Tortoise May 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    Both Mr. Luman and Mr.McCurry should have been fired on the spot for fighting. Period. There is no excuse whatsoever for physical violence in the workplace. Whomever threw the first blow should have been prosecuted and both should have been fired. That is the only fair way to deal with physical violence in the workplace. Same for threats of violence. The rest of the employees have a right to be free from violence or threats of violence, and no excusese. Any employer who tolerates staff that fight should be sued for allowing those people to remain on the payroll because their continued employment endangers other employees. If someone will resort to fighting once, they will do so again.

  9. Disgruntled citizen May 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    How do you suffer a cracked rib and hernia needing surgery from a verbal altercation???

    • Benett Kessler May 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      It wasn’t just verbal.

      • disgruntled citizen May 22, 2014 at 7:03 am #

        Thanks BK for the clarification.

  10. Wondering May 20, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    I am sitting here reading all this and wondering…. are there any rules Mono County actually follows?

    This appeals process was set up by the county,,,, yet they refuse to follow it. Even when a superior court judges tell them to. Mind you this is after they claimed the first judge was bias and he hadn’t even heard anything to do with this case, They just knew they would be ruled against, so they went with Eller and he ruled against them anyways. Now they are appealing that. This is just crazy and such a waste of time money and resources!

    I know one thing if I was an employee of this county I would never trust a word they said. Their word is worth nothing.

  11. Bob May 20, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    Appears to be a problem with anyone elected in Mono County

    • Witness May 20, 2014 at 9:55 am #

      I agree Bob, I would like to add appointed too! Obenberger had his hand in this and other costly decisions! But not to worry he would do it again! He said so himself at the Lee Vining forum!

      Seems as though Mono County is going through more administrators than a dodgeball match!

      Looks like they grab up some benifits and then split!

      Vote right on June third folks! At least Ingrid Braun never cost the tax payers of Los Angeles millions of dollars! But hey Obenberger knows how to manage a budget right! NOT!

  12. Super size it May 20, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    I guess the Honorable Judge Eller is biased and prejudice towards mono county! Another delay, another $3000 dollars down the drain! That’s what is costs to file a case to the court of appeals! They will lose this one as well!

    The county counsel needs to be disbarred for malpractice and fired!

    I guess there is more money in the Mono County Budget than originally thought! Don’t forget all the back pay and benifits owed plus ten percent!

    Wake up Mono County, I think an investigation is in order!

  13. Total Travesty May 20, 2014 at 6:24 am #

    What Mono County has put this man and his family through is just cruel and unusual punishment! I can’t even imagine how they must feel!

    First Mono County was at fault for this situation in the first place by not doing anything about the constant complaints about how he Brett McCurry conducted himself at work. If they would have done their job this would have never progressed to this point, but in famous Mono County style they ignored it!

    Then it occurred and he was seriously injured and required surgery. Was fired by this negligent County. Filed an appeal which the County shafted him on once again by placing Obenberger on his panel. The man that orchestrated another thing Mono County is famous for “the MCSO supplemental reports.” Then they placed Goode on the panel (his wife was actively being investigated by the MCSO at the time) yeah no conflict there right?

    Then he watched his Supervisor and the true aggressor in the fight get his job back with a 30 day suspension and he was right back to business as usual! To add insult to injury all the employees that work with this man had to go through training, because once again Mono County wouldn’t address this man’s issues with him directly.

    Instead of keeping silent he fought this true travesty, so this is Mono County’s punishment for standing up to them. There is no amount of money in this world that would make me work for this County! The Administrators, County Counsel, BOS, and the Sheriff are out of control and know nothing about labor management and the employees have to pay for it!

  14. The Big L as in LOSERS May 19, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    Remember folks the BOS met with the County Counsel about making this choice for the last two weeks at the BOS meetings. They voted on it and chose to take this path. It is total disregard for what is best for the county and its people!

    I believe a recall is in order! At a minimum vote out the current supervisor that is up for reelection!

    We need a board that actually has a heart, cares for its employees and the harassment they have to endure, and being fiscally responsible with our money!

  15. Prediction May 19, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    Well my prediction of a month ago came true. In typical loser style they filed an appeal to fight the inevitable. Didn’t even give a reason,,,, because they don’t have one!

    Guess the Mammoth lawsuit taught them nothing! I hope Judge Eller is paying attention to how much they think his opinion is worth! He even threw them a bone and they still slapped him in the face!

    Rudolph and Vallejo need to be fired immediately! This is complete mismanagement of taxpayers money!

    • Pardon the crudeness May 21, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      Prediction –
      Don’t forget Rudolph is merely following directions from his bosses (Supervisors and CAO).
      If you want get rid of somebody – get rid of them. They are stuck together like copulating dogs in the street. Totally in love with themselves and not giving a rat’s ass what they are creating in the county.

      • Prediction May 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

        I have to say you gave me a good laugh with that one!

        I do agree with you about your vivid depiction of the imbeciles running Mono County and that there are several people that are love with themselves and have egos the size of houses. Unfortunately for us!

        Rudolph might be following directions, but it is his job to advise them what is legal and what is not and what liability they are accepting by their actions. He is head counsel and it is his license that could be on the line if they do not follow the law.

        I will be honest with you I am not sure who is telling who what to do in these decisions, but one thing I do know is there sure aren’t sound decisions being made!

      • suseeque July 29, 2014 at 10:31 am #

        Don’t forget that if Rudolph was half the attorney he says he is he would advise the board to stop this. But, he isn’t and hasn’t been more. Put his name on the list with the board.

  16. Pathetic Egomanics May 19, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    The only reason this continues is their egos are so out of control they cannot just accept that they LOST! They will continue this pathetic display over and over and PRETEND to practice law, as displayed once again by them not even giving a reason to appeal it. This is merely a temper tantrum, because they don’t want to pay him or accept that this never should have been done to Mr. Luman in the first place!

    Obenberger never should have been on this panel, Goode should have never been on this panel, and the county should be heald accountable for all these misdeeds! In Fact this pattern should be rewarded with a class action law suit by Luman and Madrid!!!

    Their pattern confirms their continuous over the top mistreatment, disrespect and down right harassment of their employees! It has progressed to the point that is so out of control that they even ignore superior court judges!

    They don’t deserve a job anymore folks they are stealing from you and taking YOUR taxes to stroke their egos!

  17. WAKE UP FOLKS May 19, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    What a crock.
    This is what needs to cease. The county will continue to fight indefinitely. Why because unlike you or me they have an endless supply of money. Who’s money you ask! Ours or anyone who lives or spends money in Mono County. The obviously want to wear luman out.
    This is the same policy that cost Mammoth Lakes 40 plus million.

    These public employees just do not know when to stop.


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