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Local News in Brief : Torrance Employees Win Private Hearings

Torrance city employees facing discipline may appeal such actions in private, the City Council has decided.

Disciplinary actions against city workers have long been confidential, but any appeals of those actions--including firings, suspensions and other discipline--have been aired at public hearings before the Civil Service Commission.

The City Council voted, however, to allow the city’s 1,400 employees--including three police officers fired last fall after they allegedly lied about the shooting of an unarmed man--to decide whether their hearings should be public. The council made the change at the request of Timothy Thornton, one of the three officers who allegedly lied to superiors about the shooting of construction worker Patrick Coyle, whose arm was left partially paralyzed.

All three officers had been scheduled to appear in public before the Civil Service Commission.

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