Last 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.