Former Fresno County labor negotiator to sue

By Kurtis Alexander, The Fresno Bee

The former Fresno County labor negotiator who pushed salary cuts on thousands of workers — and later broke with the county, calling the labor negotiations unfair — plans to sue the county for wrongful termination.

John Pinheiro says he was fired from his job in October for shining light on the county’s dirty labor tactics and that he should not have been let go.

Pinheiro challenged his dismissal before the county’s Civil Service Commission earlier this year, but last week the panel rejected his appeal, leaving him no choice but to go to court, his attorney said Monday.

“He was improperly terminated out of retaliation,” said Russ Ryan, with the law firm Motschiedler, Michaelides, Wishon, Brewer & Ryan LLP. “The facts supported his reinstatement.”

An attorney for the county called the Civil Service Commission’s decision “appropriate.” Mike Woods said Pinheiro would not have been let go without just cause.

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