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Berrios Hirings, Firings May Violate Court Order

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 7, 2011 9:26PM

2011_1_7_berrios.jpg By now we know that Joe Berrios has something resembling an enemies list. But what about those who he makes enemies of? Berrios's firings of former Assessor Jim Houlihan's staff and the hirings of others, including his son and sister, may be in violation of the Shakman Decrees.

Brian Hays, an attorney for plaintiffs in the long running case, thinks so:

“It appears there’s a violation,” said Brian Hays, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the ongoing federal court case. “There were people who were terminated and the assessor was on the record (with media outlets) saying that he could terminate people because they’re exempt.”

Hays argues that those who were fired were not the "at-will" employees Berrios claimed they were, and as such were wrongfully terminated. The Democrat counters by saying he made his list and checked it twice, first with the State's Attorney office, then human resources. For further measure, Berrios says that the job titles may have changed, but they can still be traced back to the at-will list drafted in the 1990s.

Which leads to the Joe Berrios "piss off" comment of the day, directed at Hays:

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. All of this was done with the state’s attorney’s office and countywide human resources. I feel I’m on safe ground,” Berrios said.