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The San Diego County Office of Education plans to appeal a Superior Court ruling that would reinstate an employee who claims he was wrongfully terminated for complaining that one firm received a disproportionate share of work from its Risk Management Joint Powers Authority, a public agency run through the County Office of Education that handles lawsuits for school districts.

Spokesman Jim Esterbrooks said the appeal has yet to be filed.

Roger Hartnett claimed that he was fired for complaining that one firm, Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz, received a disproportionate share of legal work “based on personal relationships” in the office rather than merit. The agency counters that Hartnett was fired for negligence, insubordination and dishonesty, including discussing a confidential file with an outside attorney and lying about it.

EMILY ALPERT

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