The appeal hearing for Richard Luman at the California Superior Court in Mammoth was postponed on Wednesday, after Mono County Counsel’s office filed a motion to recuse the assigned judge in Luman’s case.
Luman, a public works employee for Mono County for 15 years, was fired in October of 2011 after getting into an altercation with fellow employee Brett McCurry, who was also terminated. Luman challenged his termination with the Mono County Personnel Appeals Board and also made a claim for damages to Board of Supervisors in 2012. Both requests were denied. McCurry was reinstated as a County employee in August 2012.
Luman’s attorney, Katie Maloney Bellomo filed a writ of mandate appeal to the California Superior Court, asking the Court to order Mono County to reinstate Luman. Judge Eller was previously assigned to Luman’s appeal, however Judge Garbolino was reassigned on February 26th. The reassignment of judges is fairly common within the court system due to judges’ availability, schedules, et. al.
Deputy County Counsel John-Carl Vallejo filed the motion to recuse Judge Garbolino on March 4th, asking: “that some other judge be assigned to hear this matter.” V
allejo claims in the motion that Garbolino “is prejudiced against the County of Mono, so that the County of Mono cannot have a far and impartial trial or hearing before his Honor.” Judge Garbolino recently ruled against the County in the John Madrid case, reinstating the Deputy Sheriff.
Bellomo, speaking for her client, said: “We were ready to go forward. We have been waiting a long time for this day in court but we understand this is the process. We know our day will come.”
As of Thursday, the Court had not identified a judge to hear Luman’s appeal. The hearing was rescheduled for Wednesday March 26.