New CA Employment Case

employment termination Oct 10, 2023

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Did the City Manager properly terminate plaintiff police officer?

Last month, the Fifth District Court of Appeal addressed this issue. 

New CA Employment Decision  

Cruz v. City of Merced (2023) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2023 WL 5949217: The Court of Appeal reversed in part, and affirmed in part, the trial court’s order denying petitioner’s challenge to the decision of the City Manager of respondent to terminate petitioner from the police force, even though the personnel board (Board) had determined, in an appeal of petitioner’s initial termination, that respondent failed to show petitioner had submitted a false police report or had conducted an illegal search, but concluded that petitioner was not truthful in explaining certain details concerning the search and recommended that petitioner be demoted without backpay instead of terminated. The Court of Appeal concluded that the trial court prejudicially erred in applying collateral estoppel to conclusively establish the illegality of petitioner’s search, and concluded there was insufficient evidence that petitioner omitted material facts in his police report. However, the Court of Appeal concluded that substantial evidence supported trial court’s determination that petitioner’s court testimony was untruthful. The case was remanded to the trial court for it to determine, in its independent judgment, whether the surviving charges were insufficient to support petitioner’s termination. (C.A. 5th, filed August 23, 2023, published September 13, 2023.)

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