Former County Counsel Files Suit Against L.A.

Former Los Angeles County Counsel Mark Saladino says the Board of Supervisors violated the state's open meetings law in an alleged vote to oust him last year. Now he wants back in.

Saladino filed suit against the county and board Thursday over a 2015 closed-door meeting where he says a decision to get rid of him was made. Instead of reporting the decision to the public as required by the Ralph M. Brown Act, they hid it according to Saladino's complaint.

"The decision to terminate, dismiss, accept the resignation of, or affect the employment status of county counsel is certainly a reportable action under the Brown Act," the complaint notes. Saladino is now seeking reinstatement to the position.

County Spokesman David Sommers declined to comment on the lawsuit. But in a letter to Saladino’s lawyer, attorney Louis “Skip” Miller, who represents the county, denied that Saladino had been fired.

"As you know, there was no change in Mr. Saladino's compensation, he kept his automobile allowance, and he asked to be transferred back to his old Department," Miller wrote.

Indeed, Saladino had returned to a management role at the Department of Treasurer and Tax Collector where he had previously worked. However, he says he was promised and then denied transfer to one of two other positions more commensurate with his rank and experience and only accepted the eventual move to avoid being placed on administrative leave.

Saladino was paid $288,915 annually as county counsel per his contract. According to Sommers, he is now earning $219,000 a year.

Read more about the lawsuit here.



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