A state appeals court has ruled that Sonoma County had the authority to fire former Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville last year. County supervisors dismissed Neville after she allegedly created a toxic work environment, lied in a county-led investigation and failed to show leadership.
Tony Linegar, Mendocino County’s agricultural commissioner, has been selected to take the same job in Sonoma County. His appointment, announced Tuesday, comes eight months after the county fired Ag Commissioner Cathy Neville in what has become an ugly and protracted legal battle.
Former Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville is appealing a judge’s ruling that upheld the county’s decision to fire her.
Former Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville may be suing the county to get her job back, but that didn’t stop her from showing up at budget hearings Tuesday to discuss the impact on her old department. Neville said she was shocked her former office faces nearly three layoffs come July.
Former Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville vowed on Tuesday to appeal a judge’s ruling that upheld the county’s decision to fire Neville for alleged misconduct in office. Superior Court Judge Patrick Broderick formally denied Neville’s demand that she be reinstated to her job.
Former Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville’s bid to get her job back was dealt a blow Monday when a judge tentatively ruled that county officials had the power to fire her. Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Patrick Broderick wrote that state laws do not prevent counties from taking action against agricultural commissioners who are deemed unfit for office.
Bob Deis, the former chief administrator for Sonoma County, is probably not missing his old job these days. But Deis, now city manager of Stockton, has his own issues to deal with. Recently, Forbes ranked Stockton as the “Most Miserable Large Town in America.”
The state Department of Food and Agriculture is reviewing documents that detail the county’s decision to fire Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville. A lawsuit filed by Neville contends that supervisors acted illegally in retribution for her politically unpopular decision to fire Amy Cooper. The suit is the first test of state laws outlining procedures for the early dismissal of agricultural commissioners, who are appointed to four-year terms.
Hundreds of documents made public this week reveal some of the dynamics that led Supervisor Efren Carrillo to fire former Ag Commissioner Cathy Neville. Several employees reported that Neville acted erratically and disparaged them. Neville’s attorney is questioning the credibility of the main source for those allegations, saying it was an agriculture department employee who was passed over for a promotion and who is in a relationship with Carrillo.
The top position in the embattled Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner’s office will be turned over temporarily to a Napa County official while supervisors search for a permanent hire. Napa County Agricultural Commissioner Dave Whitmer will work part-time through at least the end of October.