After delaying his decision in May, a Superior Court judge has decided that the San Diego County Office of Education cannot get a new trial in the case of Rodger Hartnett, a former employee who alleges that he was fired for blowing the whistle on conflicts of interest in the agency.

The same judge ruled in March that Hartnett was entitled to be reinstated at his job with back pay because an Office of Education commission failed to properly investigate Hartnett’s claims. County Office of Education attorney Steven Cologne had not seen the ruling, but said the office would plan to appeal it, which would prevent Hartnett from returning to work or getting his backpay while the case continues.

Cologne said that Denton also ruled that Hartnett was not entitled to have his attorneys’ fees repaid by the County Office of Education. I haven’t seen that ruling yet.

EMILY ALPERT

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