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Date: 12-29-2017

Case Style: Rodger Hartnett v. San Diego County Office of Education

Case Number: D070974

Judge: O'Rourke

Court: California Court of Appeals Fourth Appellate District Division One on appeal from the Superior Court, San Diego County

Plaintiff's Attorney: Steve Cologne and Rachel Moffitt

Defendant's Attorney: Ravin Glovinsky, William W. Ravin and Jason L. Glovinsky

Description: Appellants and defendants San Diego County Office of Education (Office) and
Randolph E. Ward appeal from a judgment in favor of plaintiff and respondent Rodger
Hartnett reinstating his employment and awarding him $306,954.99 in back pay, benefits,
and prejudgment interest. Defendants contend (1) collateral estoppel precluded the trial
court from granting Hartnett's requested relief; (2) the court misinterpreted Education
Code1 section 45306 in its decision; and (3) the court improperly determined the amount
of Hartnett's back pay without remanding that issue to the proper administrative forum,
Office's personnel commission (the commission), for the commission to make factual
findings on the issue.
We conclude that the trial court's sole ground for granting Hartnett's petition—that
the commission did not proceed in a manner required by law because it did not conduct
an investigation—is not supported by section 45306. Here, the commission fulfilled its
statutory duty to investigate Office's allegations against Hartnett by conducting a fourday
evidentiary hearing at which Hartnett was either present or chose to be present
through his legal counsel and the parties were represented and afforded the opportunity to
present oral and documentary evidence relevant to the charges, cross-examine witnesses
who were sworn under oath, and argue their positions to the commission. Both Hartnett
and Office agree that in the event we reach this conclusion, no further proceedings are
necessary and Office and Ward are entitled to judgment in their favor. We reverse and
remand for the trial court to enter judgment accordingly.

1 Statutory references are to the Education Code unless otherwise specified.
3
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
This court detailed the proceedings leading up to Office's appeal from the trial
court's May 13, 2011 judgment in our prior October 2013 opinion (Hartnett v. San Diego
County Office of Education (Oct. 29, 2013, D059899) [nonpub. opn.]). For purposes of
this appeal, we briefly summarize some of that history, with additional facts discussed in
the sections below as necessary to address Office's contentions.
After Office terminated Hartnett's employment, Hartnett in 2008 sued Office and
others alleging wrongful termination and other causes of action. He then filed successive
writ petitions, the first claiming a due process violation and seeking reinstatement with
back pay pending completion of the administrative review process before the
commission, and the second challenging the merits of his dismissal following the
commission's lengthy June 27, 2008 decision. In Hartnett's second writ petition, he
contested the commission's jurisdiction, the fairness and legality of its proceedings in part
on grounds it did not investigate the matter as required by section 45306 before ordering
a hearing, and the sufficiency of its findings. The trial court denied Hartnett's first writ
petition but granted the second writ petition. It rejected Office's invocation of res
judicata and collateral estoppel, but ruled the commission "did not proceed in the manner
required by law because it had failed to conduct an investigation prior to the hearing as
required by Education Code section 45306" and thus had not "strictly followed" the
statutory procedure for dismissal, rendering Hartnett's dismissal ineffectual as a matter of
law and entitling him to reinstatement. In April 2009, the court issued a writ of mandate
4
compelling Office to reinstate Hartnett and awarding him back pay from his termination
date through reinstatement.
After unsuccessfully seeking to vacate that judgment and having its ensuing
appeal dismissed, in November 2009 Office reinstated Hartnett, put him on
administrative leave with pay and instructions not to report back to work, and tendered
back wages. Hartnett responded by moving to "enforce" the writ of mandate to seek an
award of "full" back pay without specified reductions he claimed Office had made.
Office opposed the motion, pointing out that Hartnett never prayed for reinstatement or
back pay in his second writ petition. It asserted Hartnett was procedurally barred from
obtaining the requested relief, both due to res judicata and an absence of the court's
authority to change its ruling or make new findings.
The trial court denied Hartnett's motion to enforce the writ, but "reopen[ed] the
writ proceeding" to take evidence on the amount of back pay owed Hartnett. When
Office objected that the reopening granted relief not sought by Hartnett and allowed
circumvention of the exhaustion of internal grievance procedures, the court clarified that
it would treat Hartnett's motion as one to amend his cause of action for a writ of mandate,
and deemed it amended to include his claim for $259,358.82 in back wages and benefits.
The court set an evidentiary hearing to rule on the specific amount of wages and benefits
due Hartnett, giving each side two and one-half hours to present evidence and oral
testimony. In doing so, the court, citing Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5,
subdivision (e), found "that evidence pertaining to the amount of back wages and benefits
owed to [Hartnett] constitutes relevant evidence that, in the exercise of reasonable
5
diligence, could not have been produced or was improperly excluded at the
administrative hearing."
On March 30, 2011, following that hearing and based on a lengthy statement of
decision, the court issued its writ of mandate awarding Hartnett $234,703.55 in back pay,
interest and health care premium reimbursement. It severed the writ proceeding from the
main action and issued it under a new case number. On May 13, 2011, the court entered
judgment in Hartnett's favor.
This court dismissed Office's ensuing appeal as taken from an interlocutory
judgment. (Hartnett v. San Diego County Office of Education, supra, D059899.)
Holding in part that the court was without authority to create jurisdiction by severing the
writ proceeding from the main action, we remanded the matter with directions that the
trial court vacate the judgment and issue it as an order in the original case, No. 37-2008-
00081583-CT-WT-CTL.2 (Ibid.)
After reassignment to a new judge and a stay of proceedings, the court in
November 2015 vacated the May 13, 2011 judgment and entered it as an order in the
original case. Hartnett dismissed with prejudice his claims against all defendants except
Office and Ward. In June 2016, the court entered a final judgment in Hartnett's favor in

2 At the same time, we dismissed Hartnett's separate appeal from a postjudgment
order denying his request for attorney fees, holding it was not taken from a directly
appealable postjudgment order. (Hartnett v. San Diego County Office of Education (Oct.
29, 2013, D060738) [nonpub. opn.].)
6
the sum of $306,954.99, consisting of the previous $234,703.55 award plus $72,251.44 in
prejudgment interest.
Office appeals from the June 2016 judgment.
DISCUSSION
I. Standards of Review
Office asserts that all of the issues it raises in this appeal are questions of law, a
contention Hartnett does not challenge. We agree whether the doctrines of res judicata
and collateral estoppel apply under these circumstances is a question of law that this
Court reviews independently. (Border Business Park, Inc. v. City of San Diego (2006)
142 Cal.App.4th 1538, 1561, fn. 18; State Farm General Insurance Company v. Workers'
Compensation Appeals Bd. (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 258, 268, fn. 4.) The meaning of
section 45306 is a question of statutory interpretation that we likewise consider de novo.
(Weatherford v. City of San Rafael (2017) 2 Cal.5th 1241, 1247; Gaytan v. Workers'
Comp. Appeals Bd. (2003) 109 Cal.App.4th 200, 214 [the "interpretation of governing
statutes is decided de novo by the appellate court" despite the weight given to an agency's
construction].) On that question, we are not bound by evidence presented below on the
question or the trial court's interpretation. (Burden v. Snowden (1992) 2 Cal.4th 556,
562.) And whether the trial court possessed subject matter jurisdiction to take evidence
and make the determination on the appropriate amount of back pay owed Hartnett, or
whether it was obligated to remand the matter to the commission to make that
determination, is a legal question subject to our independent review. (See Saffer v. JP
Morgan Chase Bank (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 1239, 1248 [" 'Where the evidence is not in
7
dispute, a determination of subject matter jurisdiction is a legal question subject to de
novo review' "].)
II. Application of Collateral Estoppel
Office contends the doctrine of collateral estoppel precluded the trial court from
granting Hartnett any relief on his second writ petition; that the court's decision on
Hartnett's first writ petition was "final and on the merits" and the procedural arguments in
his second petition were identical to the arguments rejected by the trial court in his first
petition. In making this argument, Office appears to conflate the doctrines of collateral
estoppel and res judicata, which are distinct principles. (DKN Holdings LLC v. Faerber
(2015) 61 Cal.4th 813, 824.)
We reject the contention, whether based on res judicata or collateral estoppel. Res
judicata, known also as claim preclusion, " 'prevents relitigation of the same cause of
action in a second suit between the same parties or parties in privity with them.' " (DKN
Holdings LLC v. Faerber, supra, 61 Cal.4th at p. 824.) It "arises if a second suit
involves: (1) the same cause of action (2) between the same parties (3) after a final
judgment on the merits in the first suit" (ibid.) and operates to bar relitigation of the claim
altogether. (Ibid.) Collateral estoppel, or issue preclusion, "prohibits the relitigation of
issues argued and decided in a previous case, even if the second suit raises different
causes of action. [Citation.] Under issue preclusion, the prior judgment conclusively
resolves an issue actually litigated and determined in the first action" as long as it is
asserted against a party to the first lawsuit or one in privity with a party. (Ibid.) Office,
as the party asserting the defense, bears the burden of establishing the requirements of
8
these doctrines have been met. (Basurto v. Imperial Irrigation District (2012) 211
Cal.App.4th 866, 881.)
Office has not met its burden here, involving successive writ petitions filed in the
same action, challenging different aspects of Hartnett's administrative review. Office
does not provide authority applying these doctrines in such circumstances. But it cannot
show the doctrines apply even if the writs can be considered separate judicial
proceedings. In denying Hartnett's first writ petition challenging procedural infirmities,
the trial court expressly declined to address Hartnett's claims (raised in reply) with regard
to irregularities that had occurred during the commission's June 2008 hearing.3 And in
granting his second petition the court rejected Office's res judicata arguments: "[T]his

3 In Hartnett's first writ petition filed in May 2007, Hartnett asserted an incomplete
record had been given to the officer reviewing his termination, the attorney advising the
hearing officer had an undisclosed and irreconcilable conflict of interest, he was not
advised of his discovery rights or given meaningful discovery, and he had not had a
substantive hearing on appeal from his October 2007 dismissal or a hearing on a second
dismissal notice given to him. In that petition he concluded: "Hartnett at this point
cannot petition this Court for review of his dismissal on the merits because the
prerequisite administrative review process is not yet complete although seven months
have passed in the interim." In denying the first petition, the court ruled: "Finally,
petitioner's reply argues that the hearing held in June (after this petition was filed) did not
comport with due process, and the hearing officer abused her discretion. To a large
extent, this argument consists of the same alleged procedural infirmities discussed above.
To the extent the reply raises new issues that arose for the first time during the hearing,
such issues cannot form the basis for an order granting this petition. First, even assuming
such hearing irregularities occurred, the remedy would not be reinstatement and back
pay. Instead, the remedy would entail a remand to the hearing officer with instructions
on the proper hearing procedures. Second, these issues cannot be addressed because the
petition did not seek such relief. Petitioner's remedy was to seek to amend his petition for
writ of mandate, or to file a new petition for writ of mandate challenging the conduct of
the hearing. Third, this court cannot address the conduct of a hearing without a record of
that hearing. No such record has been lodged."
9
writ proceeding is not barred simply because it is petitioner's second writ. [Office] fails
to provide authority suggesting that a litigant cannot file successive writs challenging
different aspects of an ongoing administrative proceeding. Also, the doctrines of res
judicata and collateral estoppel are dependent on the existence of a judgment.
[Citations.] Even if the two writs constitute separate 'actions,' there is no existing
judgment. On the other hand, to the extent petitioner seeks to reargue the same issues,
the court will not reconsider its prior ruling." (Italics added.) Thus, in granting
Hartnett's second writ petition, the trial court did not relitigate the merits of claims or
issues it had decided in Hartnett's first writ petition, precluding application of either
doctrine.
III. Interpretation of Section 45306
A. The Statutory Scheme Governing Office
It is undisputed that Office has adopted a merit system for classified employees,
which is governed by sections 45240 to 45320. (See California School Employees Assn.
v. Del Norte County Unified School District (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 1396, 1402.) Under
this statutory scheme, the power to dismiss merit system employees is vested in a school
district's governing board, which is required to do so with reasonable cause. (See
California School Employees Assn. v. Personnel Commission (1970) 3 Cal.3d 139, 142
[holding under former § 13701 et seq.]; § 45302.) The governing board's power is
subject to the right of appeal to the personnel commission, whose function is to review
the board's action. (Id. at p. 143.) Within certain time periods, written charges must be
filed with the commission and a copy provided to the employee (§ 45304), who may then
10
appeal to the commission. (§ 45305; California School Employees Assn. v. Personnel
Commission, at p. 143.) "[U]pon investigation and after a hearing at the employee's
request, the commission makes its decision, which is not subject to review by the
governing board." (See California School Employees Assn. v. Personnel Commission, at
p. 143.) If the commission sustains the employee, it "shall order his reinstatement" on
terms it may determine appropriate, and "may order paid all or part of his full
compensation from the time of suspension, demotion, or dismissal . . . ." (§ 45307;
see California School Employees Assn. v. Personnel Commission, at p. 143.) Personnel
commission rules that purport to alter or enlarge the statutory scheme are void.
(California School Employees Assn. v. Personnel Commission, at pp. 143-144.)
The commission's obligations following an employee's appeal are referenced in
section 45306, which provides in part: "The commission shall investigate the matter on
appeal and may require further evidence from either party, and may, and upon request of
an accused employee shall, order a hearing. The accused employee shall have the right to
appear in person or with counsel and to be heard in his own defense." Additionally,
"[t]he commission may conduct hearings, subpoena witnesses, require the production of
records or information pertinent to investigation, and may administer oaths. It may, at
will, inspect any records of the governing board that may be necessary to satisfy itself
that the procedures prescribed by the commission have been complied with. Hearings
may be held by the commission on any subject to which its authority may extend as
described in this article." (§ 45311.) The scheme gives the commission power to have a
11
hearing officer or other representative conduct any hearing or investigation, and present
findings or recommendations to it. (§ 45312.)
In Ahlstedt v. Board of Education (1947) 79 Cal.App.2d 845 (Ahlstedt) the Court
of Appeal relied upon an identically worded predecessor to section 45306 in deciding
whether proceedings leading to a nonteaching employee's suspension and dismissal, and
the personnel commission's review, complied with the Education Code. (Id. at p. 849.)
There, the employee was notified she was suspended "pending investigation of charges,"
then dismissed from her employment. (Id. at p. 850.) She appealed from both the
suspension and dismissal to the personnel commission and sought a hearing, but later
withdrew that request. (Id. at pp. 850, 851.) Providing the personnel commission with
notarized statements, she notified it that she relied on its investigation on appeal. (Id. at
p. 851.) After considering a report of the personnel director's investigation of her
suspension, the personnel commission decided the suspension was justified, and advised
the employee it had not made findings on her dismissal since she had withdrawn her
hearing request, and the matter was beyond its jurisdiction. (Id. at pp. 852-853.) The
employee then petitioned the board of education to reopen her case on grounds the
investigation was incomplete, expressing her belief that though she had waived a hearing,
her charges should have been investigated and either proved or disproved. (Id. at p. 854.)
The trial court issued a peremptory writ of mandate directing the board of
education to reinstate and pay her "all of the salary applicable to [her] position which has
accumulated and accrued from the time that [she] was suspended . . . ." (Ahlstedt, supra,
79 Cal.App.2d at p. 847.) In issuing the writ, the trial court found the personnel
12
commission had never investigated, issued a decision or made findings about the
employee's dismissal. (Ibid.)
The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding the finding was supported by substantial
evidence. (Ahlstedt, supra, 79 Cal.App.2d at pp. 855, 857.) It rejected the board's
argument that the only matter before the personnel commission was the employee's
dismissal, observing the personnel commission's "finding that such a suspension is
justified falls far short of a finding that the charges themselves have been substantiated"
and that the only investigation conducted by the director was focused on the employee's
suspension. (Id. at pp. 854-855.) It held the employee, a classified civil service
employee, "was entitled to have the statutory procedure for dismissal strictly followed"
and "[b]y waiving a hearing, the employee did not waive the right to have a full and
complete investigation of the charges behind the dismissal from which she had appealed."
(Id. at p. 855.) And, she was not required to further exhaust administrative remedies
beyond asking the board to reopen her case; "[h]er waiver of a hearing did not relieve the
personnel commission of the duty to 'investigate the matter on appeal' " under the
predecessor statute to section 45306. (Id. at p. 855.)
The Court of Appeal turned to other questions raised on appeal: whether the
employee was entitled to reinstatement and back pay, and whether the trial court was
limited to remanding the matter to the personnel commission. (Ahlstedt, supra, 79
Cal.App.2d at p. 849.) As to remand, the appellate court stated the trial court was not
required to remand the matter to the personnel commission for further consideration
because having held substantial evidence showed the required procedures were not
13
followed, "the dismissal was abortive, ineffective, and for all purposes unauthorized,
leaving nothing upon which the commission could base a hearing or further exercise of
its discretion. And . . . the required procedures not being followed, the dismissal was
ineffectual and [the employee] was entitled to reinstatement." (Id. at p. 856.) Finally, the
appellate court rejected the board's argument that the employee's reinstatement should
have been limited in time. (Id. at p. 856.) It explained that an unlawfully dismissed civil
service employee was "entitled to recover the amount of his accrued salary during the
period he is prevented from performing his duties, less the amount he has received from
private or public employment during that period" but the record showed during the time
the employee was prevented from performing her duties she was not doing other work,
and thus there was "nothing to be deducted from the total accrued amount of salary she
would have received had she not been unlawfully prevented by appellants from
discharging the duties of her position." (Id. at pp. 856-857.)
B. Analysis
Office contends that in granting Hartnett's second writ petition, the trial court
misinterpreted section 45306 as to an employee's right to a commission investigation.
Office maintains Ahlstedt's holding is narrow and does not support the trial court's
conclusion. It argues that when a terminated employee is provided with pre-hearing
discovery and is accorded a full, evidentiary hearing in the commission with the right to
call and cross-examine witnesses, and when the commission makes findings on all
relevant issues, the employee has no additional right to a separate and discrete prehearing
investigation by the commission. Office submits that the Legislature intended
14
the review could be accomplished with either an independent investigation if no hearing
is requested, or a full hearing before the commission, which constitutes the requisite
investigation. According to Office, if the employee requests a hearing, as Hartnett did
here, "there is nothing to be gained—from either a procedural or substantive due process
perspective—by requiring the Personnel Commission to first conduct an investigation,
and then, if it concludes the termination is justified, requiring it to review the same
evidence again in the context of a formal hearing."
We agree Ahlstedt does not squarely address whether section 45306 requires the
commission to conduct a separate pre-hearing investigation if the employee also requests
a hearing. Ahlstedt merely holds that under section 45306, the commission must
investigate charges behind a dismissal regardless of whether the employee asks for a
hearing; that an employee's waiver of his or her right to a hearing does not waive the right
to a full and complete investigation of the charges behind the dismissal that is the subject
of appeal. (Ahlstedt, supra, 79 Cal.App.2d at p. 855.)
Thus, we proceed on basic principles of statutory construction. When we construe
a statute, our " ' "fundamental task . . .' " . . . ' "is to ascertain the intent of the lawmakers
so as to effectuate the purpose of the statute." . . . We begin as always with the statute's
actual words, the "most reliable indicator" of legislative intent, "assigning them their
usual and ordinary meanings, and construing them in context." ' [Citation.] If the words
appear susceptible of more than one reasonable construction, we look to other indicia of
legislative intent, bearing in mind the admonition that '[t]he meaning of a statute may not
be determined from a single word or sentence' [citation] and that apparent 'ambiguities
15
often may be resolved by examining the context in which the language appears and
adopting the construction which best serves to harmonize the statute internally and with
related statutes.' " (People v. Pennington (2017) 3 Cal.5th 786, 795.) Where the meaning
is uncertain, we may also consider the consequences of a particular interpretation. (Even
Zohar Const. & Remodeling, Inc. v. Bellaire Townhouses, LLC (2015) 61 Cal.4th 830,
838.) But if the words themselves are not ambiguous, we presume the Legislature meant
what it said, and the statute's plain meaning governs. (Ibid.)
Here, section 45306's language is unambiguous as to the requirement of an
investigation. The Legislature's use of the word "shall," in close proximity to the word
"may," constitutes a legislative mandate directing the commission to investigate the
charges on appeal. (Accord, Tarrant Bell Property, LLC v. Superior Court (2011) 51
Cal.4th 538, 542 [" '[w]hen the Legislature has, as here, used both "shall" and "may'' in
close proximity in a particular context, we may fairly infer the Legislature intended
mandatory and discretionary meanings, respectively' "].) Thus, under a plain reading of
the statute, on an employee's appeal, the commission is required to conduct an
investigation (it "shall investigate the matter on appeal and may require further evidence
from either party"). The statute goes on to provide "and [the commission] may, and upon
request of an accused employee shall, order a hearing." (§ 45306, italics added.) This
gives the commission discretion to forego a hearing if the employee does not request one,
but mandates a hearing on the employee's request. If an employee foregoes a hearing and
the commission elects not to conduct one as the statute permits, the commission must
16
nevertheless investigate the matter so as to "substantiat[e]" the charges. (Ahlstadt, supra,
79 Cal.App.2d at p. 854.)
Section 45306 is silent, however, on whether the commission's investigation of the
charges may be conducted at the hearing, at which the commission may take evidence
and witness testimony. Though the statute mandates an investigation, it does not dictate
how such an investigation must be conducted, and it does not preclude the commission
from doing so during the course of the hearing. Rather, the merit system scheme gives
the commission broad discretion in conducting hearing and investigations. (§§ 45311,
45312.) We will not rewrite the statute to include a pre-hearing investigation requirement
where the Legislature has not provided for one. (J.M. v. Huntington Beach Union High
School District (2017) 2 Cal.5th 648, 657, fn. 7.)
In this case, the commission conducted a hearing over the course of four days,
took evidence, issued subpoenas, weighed the evidence presented by both sides, and
issued a lengthy (21-page) statement of findings and decision. Its findings state that both
sides were given the opportunity to present oral and documentary evidence, crossexamine
witnesses, and make oral and written arguments. Hartnett was either present or
chose not to be present and proceeded via counsel. In this way, the commission satisfied
its duty to investigate and determine the truth of the allegations against Hartnett, and
whether his termination was warranted. Because section 45306 does not mandate that an
investigation and hearing be independently conducted, or prevent the investigation and
hearing from taking place at the same time or being done concurrently, we reverse the
trial court's judgment, which was based solely on the ground that the commission "did not
17
proceed in the manner required by law because it failed to conduct an investigation prior
to the hearing as required by Education Code section 45306."
Despite our conclusion, we reject any suggestion by Office that a commission's
investigation conducted outside of a public hearing would violate the Ralph M. Brown
open meetings act (Gov. Code, § 54950 et seq.). It is not the case that an investigation
would necessarily entail a commission meeting, a "collective acquisition and exchange of
facts" or some kind of "session or conference" of commission members.4 (See Roberts v.
City of Palmdale (1993) 5 Cal.4th 363, 375-377; Sacramento Newspaper Guild v.
Sacramento County Bd. of Supervisors (1968) 263 Cal.App.2d 41, 47-48, 50.) An
investigation does not require "collective" deliberation or a gathering of commission
members. (Accord, Roberts v. City of Palmdale, at p. 376 [Brown Act was intended to
apply to collective action of local governing boards and not to the passive receipt by
individuals of their mail]; Frazer v. Dixon Unified School District (1993) 18 Cal.App.4th
781, 796-798 [holding there was no evidence of the required "collective deliberation" by
board members where there was one-way transmission to and solitary review by
members of background materials relating to the issue and thus no Brown Act violation

4 In making this argument, Office states that asking the commission to investigate is
"no different" from asking a court to investigate the termination, and a personnel
commission " 'investigates' simply by reviewing the materials provided to it by the
employer and the employee, and then determining if adequate information supports the
termination." This argument ignores the commission's ability to "require further evidence
from either party" (§ 45306) in conducting its investigation, giving it discretion to
identify, collect and examine other relevant documents and evidence beyond what the
parties supply.
18
as to those actions].) The statute authorizes the commission to designate an investigator
to review, collect and assess materials to substantiate the claims against an employee and
forward his or her conclusions to commission members for their solitary review without
risking a violation. (§ 45312; see, e.g., Roberts v. City of Palmdale, at p. 375 ["the action
of one public official is not a 'meeting' within the terms of the act; a hearing officer
whose duty it is to deliberate alone does not have to do so in public"].)
The trial court granted Hartnett's petition without considering Hartnett's additional
claims that the commission's decision was unsupported by its findings, or that its findings
were not supported by the evidence. However, the parties conceded at oral argument that
if this court concludes, as we have, that the commission conducted an investigation
within the meaning of section 45306, no further proceedings below are necessary and
Office is entitled to judgment in its favor. We need not reach Office's final contention
that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to set a hearing and take evidence on
the issue of the amount of back pay owed Hartnett.

Outcome: The judgment is reversed and the matter remanded to the trial court to enter
judgment in favor of San Diego County Office of Education and Randolph E. Ward.
Office and Ward shall recover costs on appeal.

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:

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