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State appeals court to hear arguments in ex-Monterey Co. Sheriff's deputy's lawsuit

Published On: Jun 25 2014 02:43:58 PM CDT
SAN JOSE, Calif. -

A state appeals court will hear oral arguments next month in the case of a former Monterey County Sheriff's deputy who claimed wrongful termination.

Eduardo Lorenzana was a chief deputy under former Sheriff Mike Kanalakis. He was fired in 2011 after Sheriff Scott Miller took office. At the time, he was a 23-year veteran of the office.

Lorenzana sued, arguing that Miller fired him without cause. He was the only one of  Kanalakis' chief deputies who didn't retire after Miller defeated the incumbent Kanalakis in the November 2010 election.

Lorenzana's suit claimed that Kanalakis moved him from his "at-will" postion as chief deputy back to his former rank of commander before the former sheriff left the office. As such, he argues he can only be fired for cause and has to be given opportunity to appeal the decision.

Miller's lawyers have argued that Lorenzana was, in fact, an at-will employee.

The case is scheduled to go before the San Jose-based 6th District Court of Appeals for hearing of oral arguments on July 9.