In midtrial, a judge on Wednesday threw out a discrimination lawsuit brought by a reserve deputy who claimed he was blacklisted by superiors after ratting out slacking co-workers.
Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge William Mayhew had warned Del Camara's attorney that he might have a weak case when the trial began one week ago. Mayhew was reluctant to dismiss the lawsuit at the time, but did so Wednesday after Alameda attorney Daniel Mitchell finished presenting witnesses.
Camara, 40, of Hughson routinely drew outstanding job performance evaluations while overseeing inmate transportation between other counties. He fell out of favor, he testified, after reporting co-workers abusing overtime pay and sharing concerns about an armed deputy on medication while driving.
But the county's attorney nearly persuaded Mayhew to scrap the trial last week, noting that Sheriff's Department managers showed no bias toward age, race, gender or any other characteristic protected under fair employment law.
"There is no sense in us putting on a defense and wasting the jury's time," County Counsel John Doering said Wednesday, calling the ruling "a correct decision."
The Bee was unable to reach Mitchell for comment.
The county in March successfully defended a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former sheriff's clerk, and in October settled a discrimination case brought by three female employees of the same department, agreeing to pay them $545,000.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2390.