(Super. Ct. No. SCSCCVPT 09-0000135)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Blease , Acting P. J.
LaTourelle v. County of Siskiyou CA3
California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.
Appellant Ruth LaTourelle appeals from the judgment of the superior court denying LaTourelle's petition for writ of mandate. She filed the petition for writ of mandate pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5. She claims she is entitled to a rehearing before the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors (Board) because the recording of the testimony of three of her witnesses was lost. She argues she was entitled to have the trial court review the entire record of the administrative proceedings, and that her due process rights have been violated because of the missing testimony.
The trial court relied on offers of proof by both parties regarding the content of the missing testimony, and determined these offers of proof sufficiently reconstructed the administrative record to allow it to determine that the weight of the evidence supported the Board's decision.
We shall conclude that the trial court was able to reconstruct the record sufficiently to support its findings. We reject LaTourelle's argument that there is nothing in the record to show the offers of proof relied upon by the trial court, because LaTourelle has not provided an adequate record for us to make this determination.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
LaTourelle was employed by respondent County of Siskiyou (County) as an assistant planner. Her supervisor, Terry Barber, gave her a written performance evaluation for the period covering July 2006 to December 2007. The evaluation stated LaTourelle needed improvement in her work performance, judgment, job knowledge, reliability/stability, and personal interaction. Barber implemented a performance improvement plan, the goal being for LaTourelle to improve her performance by the end of May 2008.
By the end of May 2008, Barber issued a second written reprimand. Barber also determined that the next disciplinary step was necessary, and she initiated a notice of proposed disciplinary action pursuant to which LaTourelle would be suspended without pay for three days.
LaTourelle invoked her right to a Skelly hearing.*fn1 The hearing officer determined the three-day suspension was appropriate. LaTourelle invoked her right to an appeal before the Board. The Board upheld the three day suspension and a petition for writ of mandamus followed.
The trial court gave the following summary of LaTourelle's performance:
"Petitioner's work performance was rated as unacceptable because she had difficulty with her written communications, numerous errors in staff reports and other documents, difficulty in knowing what material is appropriate to discuss in public meetings, difficulty being consistent during her planning commission presentations, and difficulty processing non-routine projects . . . . Petitioner's judgment was rated as unacceptable because she has difficulty accepting decisions made by her supervisor and goes outside of the department to solicit support of her positions that contradict those of her supervisors[.] [S]he is resistant to change, exhibits poor judgment in her communications with the public and she has made personal and inappropriate comments during public hearings . . . . Petitioner's job knowledge, reliability/stability and personal interactions were rated as need improvement . . . . Petitioner has eight years of planning experience, her job knowledge should be better than it is, she is not able to work independently and she is not capable of processing more complex applications . . . . Petitioner's reliability/stability rated as needs improvement because she has difficulty in meeting timelines, and has a great deal of difficulty following directions given by her supervisor . . . . Petitioner's personal interactions were rated as need improvement because she has a great deal of difficulty interacting with clients and co-workers . . . ."
LaTourelle's petition asserted numerous due process violations stemming from her assertions that she was not provided with all of the documents upon which the adverse action was based, that the hearing procedures were changed during the hearing, that the Board excluded relevant evidence and limited cross-examination of County's witnesses, and that the transcript of the testimony of three of her ...