Two members of Mono appeal board uphold Luman’s firing

MONO COURTHOUSEThe long and public appeal hearing of fired Mono County mechanic, Dick Luman, has ended. His attorney reports that the Personnel Board deliberated and found against Luman, sustaining his termination.  A written decision is pending.  That document is expected to explain the reasons for their decision.

Attorney Katie Bellomo said that she and Luman do know that the vote in his appeal was 2 to 1.  Undersheriff Ralph Obenberger and employee Ken Goode voted to sustain Luman’s termination.  Supervisor Tim Hansen voted to reinstate Luman. Hansen indicated he would issue a written dissent.

Last October, Luman accompanied a fellow worker, Jim Kerby who wanted to meet with a Public Works supervisor, Jerry Vande Brake to complain about Road Department Manager Brett McCurry’s allegedly hostile behavior.  McCurry came into that meeting, words were exchanged and Luman said McCurry threw him against some tool bins.  Two eye witnesses said McCurry was the aggressor, and a third ended up  changing his testimony and blaming Luman.  Both Luman and McCurry were fired.

In her closing statement, attorney Bellomo said that the County had not “met its burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the termination of sixty year old mechanic Dick Luman was justified.”  She pointed to Brett McCurry’s appeal getting underway this week with what she described as “two of McCurry’s closest friends” sitting on the appeal board.  Bellomo called the County’s investigation of the circumstances into Mr. Luman’s termination “incomplete.”  She said the County blamed Luman to “deflect attention from the County’s failure to address a hostile workplace problem.”

Bellomo points to the two men who saw the altercation and their unswerving testimony that McCurry was the aggressor.  She also pointed to manager Jerry Vande Brake who at first said he did not see the fight and then later claimed Luman started it. His change of view was documented in a report done by Mono County’s insurance investigator.  Bellomo pointed out that it was Vande Brake who “failed to deal with hostile workplace complaints about Brett McCurry brought to him by several employees.”

Bellomo said that the altercation left Luman with “fractured ribs and a hernia requiring an operation.”  Now, she and her client await the Personnel Appeal Board’s written rationale for their decision.

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Scholl Bowl
Scholl Bowl
10 years ago

Bennett, I was wondering when we will hear the dissent from Hansen and what reasoning the panel had to sustain the termination of Luman? If their decision still has not been written, would you find out why? I would also like to hear what the findings were of Brett McCurry’s… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Scholl Bowl

According to the County Counsel’s Office, the Personnel Appeal Board has not yet issued its written decision and neither has the dissent. The Board will meet tomorrow for further review. It is expected that the written decision and the dissent will come out at the same time. We’ll stay on… Read more »

Just the facts
Just the facts
10 years ago

Just one more example of what the power of union labor can foster in California. Bad idea, Governor Brown. Solidarity is good. But it must also give a clear-cut thumbs down to violence in the workplace. 60-year old men should be providing a healthy and civil example for the next… Read more »

Time to clean the Stall
Time to clean the Stall
10 years ago

Now we can watch the shenanigans cost Mono big time! The Federal Court won’t buy the Mono way…..

School Bowl
School Bowl
10 years ago

To Local Lady You’re correct I misspoke myself. My prediction is for McCurry’s hearing. Thank you for your correction and stay tuned to see what shanigans will go on next. This whole thing is just the sad reality of a county that never gets held to the proper and legal… Read more »

local lady
local lady
10 years ago
Reply to  School Bowl

Appreciate your clarification and change would be welcome

Ross
Ross
10 years ago

You people make me sick! Two grown men fighting and people defend why they are out of work on a website. I speculate that most of the pro employee post n here are from the parties involved or that other baby. Try working construction where your boss will tell you… Read more »

Scholl Bowl
Scholl Bowl
10 years ago

Bennett,

When can we expect to see the written dissent from Hansen? I bet he will have some very interesting things to say!

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Scholl Bowl

Don’t know, but we will continue to check.
BK

Scholl Bowl
Scholl Bowl
10 years ago

Thanks for answering my question Bennett. How is it that Obenberger is on both of them? Doesn’t this man have issues with the Sheriff’s Department that he should be dealing with instead of sitting on both of these panels? I guess taking care of the counties agenda is more important.… Read more »

local lady
local lady
10 years ago
Reply to  Scholl Bowl

Scholl Bowl, re: your last comment——your prediction? Are you really talking about Luman’s hearing or is that a mistake & you’re meaning McCurry’s hearing when you’re speaking of his two friends being on his panel? Just curious

kerbear
kerbear
10 years ago

Something is smelling awful fishy with the SO. *sniff sniff* YEP, PRETTY FISHY!

Scholl Bowl
Scholl Bowl
10 years ago

You know the more I learn about this the angrier I get. When are the Board of Supervisor going to see how Obenberger is abusing his power? He is over the top. I just heard he is going to be on McCurry’s panel also! Is this true Bennett? Please find… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Scholl Bowl

Appeal hearing testimony indicated that Obenberger, Harry Bryan and Tom Musik would comprise the Personnel Appeal Board
for Brett McCurry.
BK

Just the facts
Just the facts
10 years ago

Everything is contractual. Otherwise violence-prone miscreants (who should know better)would choose to settle ALL their disagreements by beating on each other (Like in a drunken bar room brawl). Surely there is a clause in their emplyoment agreement prohibiting violence in the workplace. They signed the contract. They ignored the clause… Read more »

BiasedMuch
BiasedMuch
10 years ago

Conflict of interest? The only dissentint vote came from Tim Hansen, one of Luman’s dear friends. Tell me how him being on the panel was in any way fair! You can’t fight at work and think you are going to keep your job? Where has people’s common sense gone these… Read more »

Just the facts
Just the facts
10 years ago

Perhaps this will be a wake-up call for some and a lesson for our youth that grown men better find better and more civil ways to express themselves during disagreements.

SierraFan
SierraFan
10 years ago
Reply to  Just the facts

Just the facts, You’re certainly right in the civilized handling of situations but with out being there at that moment, we’ll never know what started or who started this thing. My guess is that Mr. Lumin was protecting his rights as an employee and had considerable pushback and perhaps and… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  SierraFan

Yeah I hear ya SierraFan, yeah we need to get past slugging it out, but that is hard to do at times for some, it is in the human condition and for some it is very strong. People deal with things differently. Yeah as you say, it started with one… Read more »

SierraFan
SierraFan
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Big Al,

We’ll probably never know.

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Just the facts

Right on Dr. Facts … good post

kerbear
kerbear
10 years ago

Bennett, I would like to know how long the panel deliberated? That will tell the real story…..

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  kerbear

I’ll check. BK

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  kerbear

Kerbear,

They deliberated roughly two hours in a closed session. Luman’s attorney had requested open deliberations.

Benett Kessler

Scholl Bowl
Scholl Bowl
10 years ago

I appoligize for spelling corruption and Undersheriff wrong…. I was so disgusted I was typing too fast. Sorry 🙂

Scholl Bowl
Scholl Bowl
10 years ago

Of course Obenberger voted against him that is what the CAO and Rita Sherman wanted him to do and you know that Ken Goode isn’t going to vote against Undersferiff Obenberger…. his wife is being investigated for embezzlement by the Sheriff’s Department. Do you really think he was going to… Read more »

SierraFan
SierraFan
10 years ago
Reply to  Scholl Bowl

I’m with you on this one! From the outside this stinks to high heaven!!! I didn’t think Lumin would have a true fair shake in this, he needs to appeal and maybe in a different county.

Eastern Sierra local
Eastern Sierra local
10 years ago

Sounds like a kangaroo court to me

Friar Tuck
Friar Tuck
10 years ago

Dick Luman needs to hire Gloria Allred to file a civil suit against Mono County, Then we’ll see these country bumpkins run for cover. I’ve seen this before, They protect their own until the big league attorney arrives, then everyone looks out for their own survival. It is actually a… Read more »

Just the facts
Just the facts
10 years ago

There seems to be a growing amount of cases of violent behavior amongst older people today. One would assume that when you reach an advancing age you would never think of violence … especially in the workplace. This sort of creepy, uncivil behavior must be stopped immediately, no blame games.… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Just the facts

I totally agree .. except for the therapy part, I’m not a big fan of therapy being used wholesale like the fashion is today. A lot of issues can be resolved by one as you say .. owning up to your mistakes … owning up to your responsibilities in general.… Read more »

disturbing element
disturbing element
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Our older people are getting freakier by the day.
You tube “tea party” to see what I mean.