Questions about Mono investigation in termination appeal hearing

MONO COURTHOUSEAttorney Katie Bellomo who represents a fired Mono County mechanic in a wrongful termination appeal, said what should have been a simple personnel hearing has grown complex and lengthy.  She thinks part of the reason is that Mono officials are “used to controlling the personnel process.  They have not had this level of resistance,” she said. “I don’t know when a personnel hearing has happened in Mono County in the open with a lawyer.”

It’s happening now, and after a few days of the open, public appeal hearing of Dick Luman, it was revealed that Mono Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Hanson had investigated a reported physical fight between Luman and Road Operations Supervisor Brett McCurry which led to the firing of both men. The fight happened at a meeting to discuss problems with McCurry. Deputy Hanson spoke to eye witnesses, closed his investigation and had it signed off.  Luman’s attorney, Bellomo, said the Deputy had concluded that McCurry was the aggressor.

Then, she said, higher levels in the Sheriffs Department got involved. Deputy Hanson was required to review reports on the incident by the County’s Insurance investigator, York Insurance.  A Mono Sergeant said he was ordered by Lieutenant Rob Weber to give the insurance company report to Deputy Hanson to re-open his investigation. The insurance report showed one witness had changed his statement, calling Luman the attacker and not McCurry. This witness was Jerry VandeBrake, a Supervisor in Public Works who had heard complaints about McCurry’s aggressiveness and bullying but never documented them. Before questioning by the insurance investigator, VandeBrake had reportedly told Deputy Hanson that he could not see who started the fight.

Mechanic Mike Rhodes had testified that he saw McCurry throw Luman against a tool cabinet and pin him down.  Jim Kirby made a statement under oath that he saw McCurry start the fight and assault Luman.

Bellomo said, “The county’s argument is all supposition based on their choice not to believe eye witnesses.”  Bellomo says it looks like the County is trying to first maintain control of the situation instead of looking for the facts and the truth of what happened.

Mono CAO Jim Arkens testified that Rita Sherman in Administration delivered the insurance investigation transcripts to the Sheriff’s Office.  Bellomo still feels that Undersheriff Ralph Obenberger, who sits on the Appeals Board along with Tim Hansen and Ken Goode, has a conflict of interest since, Bellomo said,  “Actions of his department and men are central to the case.” She also expressed concern about the insurance company report which might have a financial bias in favor of the County’s position.

Bellomo said, “Rather than conducting an objective evaluation of this situation, the County wanted a certain result.”  When asked why his Administration wanted the investigation re-opened for the insurance company report, Mono CAO Jim Arkens said, “I was told it was common practice.”  He said Rita Sherman of Administration took the report to the Sheriff.

Now, public speculation over the potential of poor personnel investigations has led to an old lawsuit involving County Administrator Jim Arkens and an employee termination in New Mexico 8 years ago.  Arkens says it has nothing to do with the current Mono County case. Luman’s attorney, Katie Bellomo said the New Mexico case could be relevant if Mr. Arkens were involved in the investigation and appeal hearing.  She called it the same style of personnel issue.

The New Mexico case centered around Holy Cross Hospital where Arkens was the Human Resources Director.  It was a case that involved termination, appeal, arbitration and reinstatement of a nurse related to an infant death. Court documents quoted the arbitrator as saying the investigation of the incident by the hospital was similar to a “kangaroo court” and a “hanging.”  Asked if he were responsible for this investigation and hearing, Jim Arkens said he prepared documents for the hospital attorney and for the arbitration case.

Does he have a history of poorly prepared personnel cases, including the current one?  Arken said he had very little to do with the Holy Cross case.  He had only been employed there for two months.  He said that at the hospital, officials could not use what’s called the peer review process as part of the investigation of the nurse.  Instead, they used interviews of people involved.

As for the reported bullying of workers by McCurry and the potential for a hostile work place maintained by the County, Arkens said that “swearing is not uncommon in a male dominated work place.”

This issue will go back to hearing on May 16 in Bridgeport.

 

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50 Responses to Questions about Mono investigation in termination appeal hearing

  1. Bo Duke April 26, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    It looks like Boss Hog and Roscoe P. Coletrane are alive and well and living in Mono County.

     
    • tax dollars at work April 26, 2012 at 9:09 am #

      You got that right, Bo Duke.

      Almost everyone in Bridgeport works for Mono County. Generation after generation. Father/Son. Mother/Daughter family after family. Way too much time on their hands so bash management every chance you get.
      And of course you can thank Governor Brown for giving government-union employees way too much power. As the economy continues to get tougher, and areas like North Mono County contribute less and less tax dollars to the whole system, you are going to see additional drains on the taxpayers that do most of the contributing.

      It’s sad that red-necked violent behavior is becoming sanctioned and acceptable to so many today. And once again, many have to leave their regular jobs and sit through the attorney’s diatribes that allow this to keep going and going and ….
      Your tax dollars at work.

       
      • Red Rose April 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

        This case is about more than just the firing of employees for fighting. It is also about the county taking action against an employee filing a complaint. It is against the law to terminate an employee for filing a complaint; however, I have seen over and over again companies abuse employees rights making them afraid to file a complaint or to file for workmen’s compensation. Now Mono County is stooping to such abuses thinking that the little lowly employee will not fight back. It concerns me when our governing agencies violate the laws. Thank God, I got out of Mono County before Arkens took office. I find Arkens dismissal of the cursing in the workplace as being normal where men primarily work to patronizing. There is cursing and there is cursing at someone in a very threatening manner. They are two different things entirely. Certainly I could say that it is not unusual for men to make sexual advances toward women in the work place, but it is still an offense that requires disciplinary action. If appropriate action had been taken earlier, things might not have gone so far. By ignoring Mr. McCurry aggression behavior, the supervisor gave Mr. McCurry free license to continue with his out of control behavior.

         
  2. just the facts April 26, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    Tim Hansen is good friends with one of the people let go, yet is allowed to be “fair and impartial” in this case.
    And now the incestual-like Bridgeport community is going after the big, bad management to keep the union powerful so the mere thought of firing any union employee is going to result in there is hell to be paid if you do. This inspite of clear-cut policy about violence in the workplace (sometimes good ol’ boys bring guns to work.) Arkens acted correctly. This is not a “boys will be boys” thing.
    The State of California should never have unions for government employees. This is government – not a private business.

     
    • Home girl April 26, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      Really offended by the incestual-like Bridgeport community comment. Only one of these men live here. EVERYONE ELSE involved lives elsewhere in mono County. So maybe you should gather just the facts before you insult a community you no nothing about

       
      • just the facts April 26, 2012 at 11:21 am #

        No offense intended Home girl. But the fact remains almost the entire town of Bridgeport works for the Mono County government and whines to their union officials on a daily basis.
        It is doubtful their hands are always clean on such matters as always filing grieviences when exposed for their wrong-doings and inept work (for which they are paid handsomely for)
        The population of Bridgeport continues to decline and my prediction is the town is headed for the same status as Bodie.
        The smarter younger people want more from their lives than is offered and are wisely moving away.

         
        • Home girl April 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

          Also NOT TRUE, once again Just the facts are some work for CHP, (state) some work for Cal- trans (State) some work in the restaraunts and hotels and gas stations. A lot of folks from ALL of the towns in Mono County work for the County. We are small after all. You are lumping everyone in together and that is not fair. when I moved to Bridgport 18 years ago from Mammoth the population was 550 now it is 863, that looks like an increase to me, maybe I learned math wrong in Mammoth? Bridgeport was here long before, (about ready to do our 147th fourth of July celebration) and we will continue to be here. I would be more worried about the state of affairs in the town if I were you.

           
        • hisierragal April 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

          dear “just the facts” – do you work in B-port? Live there? Then where do you get your “facts”?

           
  3. A girl in the know April 26, 2012 at 10:21 am #

     
     
    Bravo Bennett for bringing this story out in the open….. it is about time that someone publish the shady antics of Mono County government.
     
    Hmmm does anyone know that LT Weber is long time friends with McCurry… and then he sends Deputy Mark Hansen out to do a supplemental report a month after he had already concluded his investigation? I wonder why????
     
    Undersheriff Obenberger is on the panel by chance? I think not!
     
    Now he is refusing to testify at the hearing even though he was subpoenaed…. think this is a coincidence? I guess he knows that perjury is not a great addition to an Undersheriffs resume……
     
    Hope it finally comes out how underhanded and borderline illegally the administration of the sheriff’s office operates.. all about the cover up. It is about time the truth comes out for the good of all Mono County. Trust me this isn’t the only person these kinds of things have happened to and continue to happen too.

    Question? Why would Rita Sherman approach the sheriff’s department to follow up on a works comp insurance claim?
         
      
     

     
    • just the facts April 26, 2012 at 11:36 am #

      Hopefully after posting comments such as, “so-and-so is related to so-and-so;” and “Lt. so-and-so knows so-and-so,” and Rita so-and-so will do …”
      Home girl/aka girl in the know perhaps may now understand my analogy of a town that the whole mess in Bridgeport resembles an incestual family. But if she is still incensed about the terminology – then kindly substitute incestual for dysfunctional if this will make her feel better.
      Meanwhile the nastiness continues unabated in the Mono County county seat.

       
      • hisierragal April 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

        it is small town – where do you live?

         
    • just the facts April 28, 2012 at 7:12 am #

      Sorry “a girl in the know” – the sheriff was NOT subpoenaed.

       
  4. Mike April 26, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Just the Facts….you must be reading a different story. You are ignoring the facts….

    A deputy does an investigation and made a decision to close his investigation. He could have arrested both parties and let a judge/jury decide who was at fault, but didn’t. Somebody filed a worker’s compensation claim, and that resulted in another investigation. Ms. Sherman (administration) then delivered a copy of that investigation report to the sheriff’s department. Why was she involved in a criminal investigation? It does not state who she delivered it to or who she spoke to, but could that have been Mr. Obenberger? Subsequently a lieutenant ordered a sergeant to have the deputy reopen the case based on one witness apparently changing his statement. Who knows if that witness had been pressured or coerced into changing his statement?

    For the record, I do not know anybody named in this article but every employer has a legal responsibility to address ongoing hostile work complaints by an employee? Overall, this sounds like a case where the panel should be dismissed and a new hearing ordered with new neutral persons on the panel. The Sheriff should also consider having an independent committee investigate if actions by his department were and have been proper and appropriate!

     
    • just the facts April 28, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      I would agree with “Mike” that a completely neutral panel should be put in place.
      (But that panel must be made up people from arbitrators outside the area)
      Do you really think that could happen in “our small town” as one Bridgeport person said?

       
  5. just the facts April 26, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    There is a growing reputation of The Mono County Government County Seat that it is filled with some very nasty people.
    It’s time the outside world finds out just how nasty.
    People simply have too much time on their hands and and idle mind is the devil’s playground.

     
    • hisierragal April 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

      once again I am very curious about where you live and where you get your “facts” – do you live in B-port?

       
  6. Movie analogy April 26, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    In the classic Clint Eastwood film “High Plains Drifter” (filmed in Inyo and Mono Counties)
    a stranger rides out of the hot desert into a small town in the wild west. The towns people are scared of him, and 3 gunmen try, unsuccessfully, to kill him. He takes a room and decides to stay. Meanwhile, a group of outlaws are about to return to the town and take their revenge – will the towns leaders convince the mysterious man to help ?
    Well, ol’ Clint realizes how nasty and corrupt the town has become and their bizarre fear of those outside their town limits that the only solution is to burn the entire town down.

    Sometimes you simply cannot reason with people who resist the simplest of changes. In their paranoid state, they just become nastier and nastier.

    Sound familiar?

     
    • RoadRage April 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      Inyo County?

       
  7. Mike April 26, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Is Mono County required to follow federal law?

    Employer Liability for Harassment

    The employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and loss of wages. If the supervisor’s harassment results in a hostile work environment, the employer can avoid liability only if it can prove that: 1) it reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior; and 2) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.

    The employer will be liable for harassment by non-supervisory employees or non-employees over whom it has control (e.g., independent contractors or customers on the premises), if it knew, or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.

    When investigating allegations of harassment, the EEOC looks at the entire record: including the nature of the conduct, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. A determination of whether harassment is severe or pervasive enough to be illegal is made on a case-by-case basis.

     
  8. Another Girl in the know April 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    “Undersheriff Obenberger is on the panel by chance? I think not!”

    And what do you say about Tim Hansen? Unbiased towards one of his friends? Highly doubtful.

    “Now he is refusing to testify at the hearing even though he was subpoenaed…. think this is a coincidence? I guess he knows that perjury is not a great addition to an Undersheriffs resume……”

    Shouldn’t all of the other panel members be sobpoenaed as well then? Obenberger has nothing to gain from all of this. He is there because he asked to be and it must be a mental hell to sit through all of this. Don’t act like its some reward or cover up to be asked to be on the panel. Not hardly…

    “Hope it finally comes out how underhanded and borderline illegally the administration of the sheriff’s office operates.. all about the cover up. It is about time the truth comes out for the good of all Mono County. Trust me this isn’t the only person these kinds of things have happened to and continue to happen too.”

    Someone gets in a fight at work, which is against personnel rules, yet there must be a cover up since he was fired. Don’t fight at work. Plain and simple. If you do, you’re fired. The union has given employees way to much control. There are rules for a reason. Act like an adult instead of a child when it comes to disagreeing.

    “uestion? Why would Rita Sherman approach the sheriff’s department to follow up on a works comp insurance claim?”

    Hmm…maybe because she is the director of Risk Management. She has a right to look into the case before granting a works comp (sic) claim. If everyone who fought at work could not only keep their job but then get compensated for it, the entire work force would be in chaos. Sign me up. Who can I fight and then get paid for it?? Any takers??

     
    • just the facts April 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      The decision to give unions such credible power in California is a travesty in today’s times. In this case where the perps clearly violated the non-violence in a public workplace should be a no-brainer. They broke the rule they signed and agreed to follow and they are fired (as they should be). Now an attorney is trying to shift the blame onto to the “dreaded administrators.”

      If push comes to shove (literally) this may result in only more drastic options, such as ending retiree medical plans in their entirety, or slashing the size of the government workforce or reducing salaries for public employees. As the money runs out, the options only become more grim.

      Unions for public employees (Mono County government employees included) are vastly a “Contract on California” and should immediately be abolished.

      Nonsensical unlawful termination cases such as this only benefit attorneys trying to make a name for themselves. Fire the whole lot of them and start over with people who would love to have their jobs.

       
    • additional insight April 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

      Ralph Obenberger did not ask to be on this panel. He was assigned from a pool of personnel identified as potential hearing board members. He would much rather be doing his regular work duties, but is willing to serve the county as he is needed. In fact, his wife is out of town receiving treatment for a life threatening illness, but he is not able to be with her due to the demands of his job and this hearing. He is very committed to serving the community and is a fair and just man and is trying to keep an open mind throughout this hearing.

       
  9. Another Girl in the Know! April 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    I wanted to respond to what you had to say about what I said.

    First of all, I do agree with one thing you said and that is that maybe all the panel members should be subpoenaed. If they are all involved,, then yes I agree with you. I spoke of who I personally know is involved, not trying to say one should be subpoenaed and not another. If it is a fact that all had involvement then yes they all should be subpoenaed.

    As for Obenberger being on the panel I ask you this….. You yourself said he ASKED to be on this panel. Why is that? From the goodness of his heart, I sincerely doubt that. I read in the Board of Supervisor minutes that Sheriff Scholl was requesting to replace Lt O’Hara when he retired. He went on and on about how busy the Sheriff’s department is and how much Undersheriff Obenberger was having to work even doing overtime because they no longer had two lieutenants….. funny they still don’t have two lieutenants but now he has time to volunteer to be on a panel that has the potential to last months and months….. as you put it “Why would anyone put themselves through this mental hell?” I would say it is to protect himself and the $10881 a month he gets as pay for being undersheriff. If he has nothing to hide why doesn’t he just testify?

    As for fighting at work…. if you were assaulted at work would you not fight back? The proof is in Deputy Mark Hanson’s first report. It was not mutual combat, Brett McCurry was the aggressor. If you don’t believe me go get a copy of the report the Public Information Act allows you to do that. While you are there obtain a copy of the supplemental report where the first thing it says is that he was directed by LT Robert Weber to go do a supplemental. Not because the reporting deputy thought it necessary,,,,, because he was directed to do so.

    As for Rita Sherman,,,, it is her job to have the matter investigated through the Worker’s Compensation Adjuster (York Ins) with an independent non involved investigator,,,, not through the Sheriffs department. If she would have done her job properly in the first place it is possible none of this would have come out like it did. It was also her job to handle the Hostile Workplace complaint that she did not do. Please keep in mind this is the same person that Jim Arkens is campaigning to get a huge raise of $9000 + dollars a month and that famous $781 a month car and gas stipend. Please read the minutes of the April 10, 2012 Board of Supervisors minutes to confirm this….. It is all there and more…. Be aware also that the CAO is trying his best to boost his own salary as well, claiming he saying thousands because he is doing two plus jobs. Or is it that they are keeping everything in their “Little Circle” so that he can call the shots? Read Mono County Read….. The truth is there you just have to look for it and pay attention to who the players in the game are. It is the same names over and over.

     
    • True History April 28, 2012 at 9:09 am #

      The true history is that the former sheriff Dan Paranick in his quest for empire building convinced the county supervisors that he should take over the paramedic program. When he took over the paramedic program he said he needed a second lieutenant to run it. Paranick’s management of the paramedic program was a diaster (like many other things he did) and the county supervisors took it away from him. Paranick kept the second lieuetenant that was used to manage the paramedic program on the payroll, as did Scholl.

      When Paranick came up for re-election, both sworn and non-sworn personnel conducted votes of no confidence in Paranick, threatning to go public with the results. Paranick decided to “retire” and gave his support to Scholl in his election bid for sheriff..

      Check out the arrests stats and report stats between MLPD and MCSO. The sheriff’s deputies don’t have much to do and MLPD does just fine with one lieutenant.

      Obenberger went from Deputy to Lieutenant in 5 months then to Assistant Sheriff a few years later. This would never happen on a larger professional department. It is essential to learn each job that you are promoted to for several years prior to being promoted again.

       
  10. California going broke April 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    California’s public sector workers have the highest average compensation of public sector workers in any state, and they also have one of the highest rates of unionization. It’s not a coincidence that the state is having severe budget problems and that it finds spending restraint very difficult to achieve. In short, public sector worker’s unions are bankrupting California.

    In California, for example, there are more than 9,000 retired public sector workers with annual pensions of more than $100,000 a year. Oftentimes these high pensions result from government workers abusing the system; for example, the last year of an employee’s salary
    may be artificially inflated to garner a larger annual pension, a technique known as “pension spiking.”

    California (Mono County included) should pass legislation to ban collective bargaining in the public sector, which is the successful path followed by Virginia and North Carolina. Government workers should be able to join voluntary organizations and have a voice in public policy debates, as people in any other voluntary organization can do. But collective bargaining infringes the rights of workers to freedom of association, and it creates monopoly unions with a privileged position in our democratic process.

    A huge fiscal battle between taxpayers and public sector unions is getting under way in many states across the nation.

    I hope this case draws national attention as to the problems unionized government workers are causing the county, the state and the nation.

     
  11. Ruddy April 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Was cousin cletus in the garage at the time? I’ll move to Bridgeport if Daisy’s around!!

     
  12. Rhea April 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    I just want to put this out there. The Union that represents the employee’s for Mono County refused to provide my husband with an legal representation, therefore we had to employ Jim’s legal representative out of our own pocket.

    The Union and the County tried to coerce my husband to have these hearing closed to the public and not to let the public know what is going on.

    Jim feels he has nothing to hide in this situation and is thankful for the overwhelming support of the public and his fellow employees he is receiving.

     
    • just the facts April 28, 2012 at 7:33 am #

      Nobody coerced anybody to have closed hearing.
      Bellomo has turned the whole thing into a self-serving circus and even distributed flyers to the public trying to paint management as the evil empire.

       
      • Bo Duke April 30, 2012 at 10:55 am #

        just the facts is clearly a Mono County Troll!

         
  13. Wilfred S. April 27, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    Voting doesn’t work for comments. Might want your web person to look at this.

     
  14. just the facts April 27, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    The main reason why so many state and local governments are bankrupt, or on the verge of bankruptcy, is the combination of government-run monopolies and government-employee unions. Government-employee unions have vastly more power than do private-sector unions because the entities they work for are typically monopolies.

    This case is a perfect example of what government unions can do.

    This charade is over. California taxpayers finally seem to be aware that they are the servants, not the masters, of government at all levels. Government-employee unions have played a key role in causing bankruptcy in most American states, and their pleas for more bailouts financed by endless tax increases are finally ringing hollow.

     
  15. just the facts Part 2 April 27, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Public-employee unions are quickly becoming a major and, indeed, imminent threat to American democracy. While union membership has been declining for more than 50 years in the private sector as the economy moved away from manufacturing and into services and high-tech industry, union membership among government employees has soared.

    It’s to the point where even though two parties openly violated a no-violence in the workplace agreement (that they both signed in their employment contracts) they now can cause lengthy and expensive hearings such as this.

    The stronger the public-employee unions, the worse shape municipal governments tend to be in.

    Therefore don’t listen to the whining of people from Bridgeport who like to paint government as evil. They ARE the government. What they are really whining about is somebody in authority who has the power to fire miscreants and slackers.

     
    • Trouble April 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      Just the facts part two- seems to me the working class people in this country did a lot better when unions were strong. Before all this trickle down crap destroyed the American dream for 99% of us.

       
  16. just the facts April 27, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    When you are dealing with unionized government workers – every firing is going to go the route of “wrongful termination.”

     
  17. A girl in the know @ Another girl in the know April 27, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    I wanted to respond to what you had to say about what I said.
    First of all, I do agree with one thing you said and that is that maybe all the panel members should be subpoenaed. If they are all involved,, then yes I agree with you. I spoke of who I personally know is involved, not trying to say one should be subpoenaed and not another. If it is a fact that all had involvement then yes they all should be subpoenaed.

    As for Obenberger being on the panel I ask you this….. You yourself said he ASKED to be on this panel. Why is that? From the goodness of his heart, I sincerely doubt that. I read in the Board of Supervisor minutes that Sheriff Scholl was requesting to replace Lt O’Hara when he retired. He went on and on about how busy the Sheriff’s department is and how much Undersheriff Obenberger was having to work even doing overtime because they no longer had two lieutenants….. funny they still don’t have two lieutenants but now he has time to volunteer to be on a panel that has the potential to last months and months….. as you put it “Why would anyone put themselves through this mental hell?” I would say it is to protect himself and the $10881 a month he gets as pay for being undersheriff. If he has nothing to hide why doesn’t he just testify?

    As for fighting at work…. if you were assaulted at work would you not fight back? The proof is in Deputy Mark Hanson’s first report. It was not mutual combat, Brett McCurry was the aggressor. If you don’t believe me go get a copy of the report the Public Information Act allows you to do that. While you are there obtain a copy of the supplemental report where the first thing it says is that he was directed by LT Robert Weber to go do a supplemental. Not because the reporting deputy thought it necessary,,,,, because he was directed to do so.

    As for Rita Sherman,,,, it is her job to have the matter investigated through the Worker’s Compensation Adjuster (York Ins) with an independent non involved investigator,,,, not through the Sheriffs department. If she would have done her job properly in the first place it is possible none of this would have come out like it did. It was also her job to handle the Hostile Workplace complaint that she did not do. Please keep in mind this is the same person that Jim Arkens is campaigning to get a huge raise of up to $9000 + dollars a month and that famous $781 a month car and gas stipend. Please read the minutes of the April 10, 2012 Board of Supervisors minutes to confirm this….. It is all there and more…. Be aware also that the CAO is trying his best to boost his own salary as well, claiming he saying thousands because he is doing two plus jobs. Or is it that they are keeping everything in their “Little Circle” so that he can call the shots? Read Mono County Read….. The truth is there you just have to look for it and pay attention to who the players in the game are. It is the same names over and over.

     
    • Bo Duke April 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

      Lt. Weber is the Mini Me of Dan Paranick.

       
  18. Eastern Shield April 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    As I sit in the courtroom listening to all this ..I’m so thank full that real courts of law are not ran like this Kangaroo nightmare..In my day we called this not law & order but nothing less than vigilantes run a muck….
    Allot of time and money and jobs COULD have been saved if the man put in charge that day had stood up immediately and put a stop to it.in my day that was the reason you were promoted to boss.. It was Your Job to Handle it ! Was it his own fear of the Bully Boss.? Where these two employee’s victims, he used to get his job done and shed the county of this Bully ?
    If your a re-tired person with a little time on your hands, come on down next hearing we may be old, but with it comes wisdom. And I’m sure we can make a difference..or at the very least you will know who we really have in charge..we wont make this mistake agin..May God Bless Lumen & Kirby.. some time’s you just gotta stand up for whats right. So put on the Armor of God ..Boy’s… your up aginst a Not Real court that makes up the rule’s as it goes along.When your eye’s gaze out there I will be there.this has been an eye opener for me..

     
    • What the ...? April 30, 2012 at 5:31 am #

      How in the _____ can Tim Hansen make the claim that he is “fair and impartial” when it is a friend of his being accused of a wrongdoing?

      This is small-town corruption at its best.

       
  19. Scotty Brown April 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Looks like the county lawyer must have written some of these comments… are you “just the facts”? Appreciate the coverage about the questionable county conduct!

     
    • What the ...? April 30, 2012 at 8:27 am #

      Looks like Bellomo must have written some of these comments.. are you “Scotty Brown?” Appreciate the coverage of small town corruption and sour grapes against management (and authority) per se!

       
  20. Just the facts April 30, 2012 at 6:44 am #

    It seems to me Tim Hansen has a problem with educated, (sometimes multiple degrees) experienced (sometimes a decade of experience or more) managers and of course, the salary that accompanies this situation. I thought EVERYONE knew that advanced degrees get you better jobs.
    He and Larry Johnston are pulling the same song-and-dance routine in Mono County demanding lower salaries for everyone attempting to level the playing field. (The same philosophy China and Eastern Europe is notorious for.)
    Interesting that Johnston never complained about his own salary back when he had the same position, car allowances and perks of those he is bitterly attacking today.
    Can you spell hypocrite – Larry?

    A major flaw in the system is It’s a shame that so much power falls into the hands of those whose only criteria is they got more votes than the other guy.

     
  21. I GET IT~ April 30, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Mono County makes the rules as they go along as they are exempt from the law (so they think). The CAO had better save money to pay the legal fees and fines….and not give raises.

    Where is Sheriff Scholl? Is he a puppet for Obenberger and Sherman?

     
  22. Redneck culture April 30, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    When grown men act like ignorant rednecks and start hammering on each other at work knowing full well this sort of violent behavior is not tolerated in society – they get to experience the results of their behavior. They both knew the rules.

    “I Get It’s” comments clearly show the anti-authoritarianism (bad CAO, bad Sheriff) that is sadly a part of this particular community’s culture.

    Sorry, but I think I’ll root for law and order rather than the Wild, Wild West BS some cannot seem to let go of.

     
    • Bo Duke April 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      Why don’t you root for self defense? Would you just stand there and take the beating?

       
  23. Hi Larious April 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    This is hilarious. First of all, Obenburger did not ask to be on the panel. He was chosen to be on the panel. Katie Bellomo is a rambling woman. She is probably forever tied up in the politics of Mono County and will be a financial drain to taxpayers. Tim Hansen is as biased as they come. This is his good friend for crying out loud! Wait and see what is about to happen then come back and tell me he isn’t!!!!!!!

    The County doesn’t have the time or manpower to create some huge coverup as some are speculating. This isn’t Mayberry or some action thriller. Its little bity Mono County.

    Two people got in a fight. Others lied about it. Man up and move along.

    Signing Off
    Hi Larious

     
  24. Truth or Consequences April 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Mono is a small county so how many of these kinds of hearings are held per year? Why don’t they select a panel from professional arbitrators and let the chips fall and get the show over.

    Coverup? How about imcompetence? Be careful something stinky might stick to their shoes….and it is easier to cover that up.

    Obenberger…why don’t you just tell everybody that you had no part in this investigation? Ms. Sherman…please tell us why no investigation was done in this matter.

     
    • Benett Kessler April 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

      I did speak with Rita Sherman who said she called in the York Insurance investigators who did put together the report that she carried over to the Sheriff’s Office after their report was completed. Benett Kessler

       
  25. Last Word May 1, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    It is so easy to get drawn into the small town politics and let things become personal. There are rules,regulations, and laws that apply to every employer and that includes hot dog stands with 1 employee to make things fair and equal. Unfortunately, there are times when even a good employer screws up even when acting in good faith or so they think.

    From the outside, I see Ms. Sherman trying to find a way to reject a worker’s compensation claim and her taking the report to the Sheriff’s department in an effort to get a finding that Luman was the aggressor. The problem with this thinking is the WCAB (court) would find the injury compensable because the evidence is inconclusive. That is the law!

    After reading all the above comments, inaction or the wrong reaction has been noted. You can blame the union, the employee, or the employer but the common demoninator is it is evident that decisions are being made without following state or federal law. This could get to be very expensive and eventually somebody might just want to look through the county records via FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and find out the facts. For instance, how many hostile work environment complaints were made by County employees and were they investigated? How were they resolved? Are there any other hearings scheduled that involve the same parties?

    Public employees should be looking out for the best interests of all residents and citizens.

     
  26. HOLD THE PRESSES! May 3, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Has anybody heard of Mono County being served papers in a federal lawsuit? I just heard that one was filed last week.

     

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