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Doug MacCarte lawsuit still active, taken off court calendar

June 18, 2002|By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

Former county employee Doug MacCartee's lawsuit against the county and his former bosses was thrown into limbo when the case was recently removed from the court's calendar.

MacCartee, a former deputy district attorney, is suing the county, District Attorney Gilbert Otero and former assistant district attorney and now County Counsel Ralph Cordova Jr. for over $3 million.

A final pretrial settlement conference was scheduled for Monday in San Diego on the calendar of Judge Napoleon A. Jones Jr.

"It was taken off the calendar. The judge could make a decision any time. Nobody knows when," said MacCartee's lawyer, Christopher Larsen of Encinitas.

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MacCartee alleges his bosses, Otero and Cordova, caused him emotional distress that led him to resign from his job when they did nothing to stop incorrect payroll billing. He alleges the emotional distress caused an early onset of Parkinson's disease.

MacCartee also alleges Otero violated his First Amendment rights in January 1999 by instructing him not to discuss the billing with anyone.

The county made a motion for a summary judgment to dismiss the case several months ago. The court kept postponing the settlement conference because of the motion to dismiss, Larsen said.

Jones will make the decision whether to move the case forward.

Larsen said he couldn't speculate on the motive of the decision to take the case off the court calendar. He did say the action means Jones' judgment on the case could come at any time or could be months away.

Cordova said he could not comment because the case is still active.

MacCartee supervised welfare fraud investigations in the DA's office. In his lawsuit, he alleges one of his employees was working on criminal investigations but was billing his time to the Department of Social Services as welfare fraud investigations.

Statewide county child support services are in the process of being moved from the control of county DAs to separate county departments.

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or lauramitchell9@yahoo.com

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