A Superior Court judge has tentatively denied a push by the San Diego County Office of Education for a new trial in the case of Rodger Hartnett, a former employee who claims he was wrongfully fired for blowing the whistle on conflicts of interest in the agency.

The same judge, Steven Denton, had earlier ruled that Hartnett was entitled to his job and back pay because the agency had failed to properly investigate his claims. The COE pushed to vacate that ruling or get a new trial. Denton disagreed with its arguments that requiring both a hearing and an investigation for Hartnett would be “absurd.”

The matter goes before the court this morning. Check back for details on how the County Office is responding and whether Hartnett will be reinstated.

EMILY ALPERT

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