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NEWS
By Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com | December 4, 2012
The wife of Woodbury University's former president filed a complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court this week alleging she was fired from her job as senior director of development without cause after reporting alleged mistreatment of other employees by the wife of the school's new president. Rose Nielsen alleges in her complaint, filed on Monday, that she was fired Sept. 6 not long after reporting that she had been approached by a maintenance employee in tears because he had allegedly been “threatened with termination” by the wife of Woodbury's new president, Luis Calingo.
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THE818NOW
September 26, 2012
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Wednesday gave attorneys for the city of Burbank and Walmart four more months to prepare their defense against a lawsuit filed to block the mega-retailer from opening adjacent to the Empire Center. The additional time could further delay Walmart's plans to open at the former Great Indoors site, where no work has been allowed since a court-ordered injunction was issued last month. “I'm not in a hurry anymore. Everybody's gotten over being in a hurry,” said Superior Court Judge Ann I. Jones after the attorneys made their request.
NEWS
By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com | August 21, 2012
Claiming a federal appellate court's dismissal of a former Burbank police detective's lawsuit will have a “powerful chilling effect” on future whistleblowers, a consumer rights advocacy group on Tuesday asked the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the ruling. The nonprofit group Public Citizen joined attorneys for the former detective, Angelo Dahlia, in petitioning the full court for a rehearing because the ruling involves whistleblowing and 1st Amendment rights for public employees, which plaintiff attorneys called issues of “exceptional importance.” Dahlia claims he was pushed out of the department after he relayed instances of misconduct made by fellow officers in the aftermath of a robbery in 2007 - a claim that was dismissed by a lower court, and subsequently by a three-judge panel from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
THE818NOW
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | August 7, 2012
After a jury in May rejected a Burbank police officer's claims that she was harassed and discriminated against because of her gender, ethnicity and pregnancy, the officer plans to take her case to a state appellate court. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on June 25 denied Officer Cindy Guillen's request for a new trial. Guillen said in her 2009 claim that she endured sexual comments and racial epithets. Guillen is of Costa Rican and Guatemalan ancestry, and in her claim states that she was the first Latina hired by the department in 2000.
NEWS
June 20, 2012
After encountering criticism from environmental groups, Gov. Jerry Brown signaled Wednesday that he plans to withdraw his controversial proposal to protect the California bullet train project from injunctions sought by environmental lawsuits. Brown's staff told key environmental groups that he would no longer include modifications to the California Environmental Quality Act in a package of legislation this month asking for $6 billion to start construction of the high-speed rail project.
THE818NOW
May 14, 2012
A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury on Monday rejected a lawsuit filed by a female Burbank police officer who claims she faced discrimination because of her pregnancy , and then retaliation when she complained, a city official said. The verdict came days after a judge threw out portions of the original lawsuit filed by Officer Cindy Guillen, including that she faced harassment based on her ethnicity and gender. Her attorney, Solomon Gresen, had sought up to $500,000 for pain and suffering, and $30,000 for lost wages due a lost assignment, but on Monday, the jury sided with the city, which painted Guillen in court as someone who holds grudges and was capitalizing on the Police Department's recent legal woes.
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | May 11, 2012
Closing arguments wrapped up Friday afternoon for a lawsuit filed by a female police officer, who claims she faced discrimination and harassment because of her pregnancy, and retaliation when she complained. On Thursday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge told jurors they could not consider other claims made by Officer Cindy Guillen in the lawsuit, including that she faced harassment based on her ethnicity and gender. Jurors will decide whether Guillen should be awarded up to $500,000 for pain and suffering, and up to $30,000 for lost wages due to allegedly being taken off an assignment in retaliation for lodging a complaint.
NEWS
By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com | May 8, 2012
Three local residents have filed a lawsuit against the city to stop a Walmart from opening in Burbank, alleging the city illegally cleared the way to issue building permits to the world's largest retailer without adequately investigating the store's environmental impact. After months of public outcry that included protests and opposition voiced at City Council meetings, Shanna Ingalsbee, Katherine Olson and Yvette Ziraldo filed the lawsuit Friday through their attorney, Gideon Kracov, who also represents United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 770. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that the city has yet to make street improvements that were required before building permits could be issued for any new businesses in, or adjacent to, the Empire Center, according to a resolution approved by the City Council in June 2000.
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | May 8, 2012
Burbank Police Officer Cindy Guillen didn't want to file a lawsuit, her lawyer told jurors Monday, but was forced to do so after complaints of gender and ethnic harassment within the department were ignored. In his opening statements in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Solomon Gresen promised to tell Guillen's full story, from her humble beginnings to fulfilling her dream of becoming a police officer in Burbank. Gresen described Guillen as an “outstanding police officer.” “There is no question about the caliber of her work,” Gresen said, adding that Guillen serves as the public information officer to the Spanish-speaking community.
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | May 4, 2012
The trial for a lawsuit filed by Burbank Police Officer Cindy Guillen - who is alleging racial and ethnic discrimination, in addition to harassment due to her marital status and pregnancy - is expected to start next week after attorneys wrapped up jury selection Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Guillen, who is Latino, also alleged in her lawsuit filed in 2009 that when she complained to commanders, she faced retaliation - echoing claims filed by other former and current officers who have sued the Police Department.
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