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UC Worker Who Quit Over Fees Policy Loses Bid to Get Job Back

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A former University of California employee who sued the state for allowing illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition is not entitled to job reinstatement or back pay of nearly $100,000, a Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.

Judge David P. Yaffee ruled that David P. Bradford, who claimed he was forced to resign from UCLA in 1985 for refusing to enroll undocumented students, had voluntarily quit his position and was not entitled to reinstatement.

Bradford’s job at the time was to certify the residency status of students to qualify them for lower California-resident tuition fees. Yaffee said that Bradford had threatened to quit if university policy on illegal aliens was not changed. When it was not, he quit.

The judge also noted that Bradford did not go through any administrative hearings to try to settle the matter before he left his job.

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Tuesday’s decision hinged specifically on Bradford’s being rehired, not on the broader issue of illegal aliens and resident tuition. In a ruling in May on the same suit, Yaffee agreed with Bradford’s larger argument in principle, and ruled that illegal alien students should not be counted as California residents in calculating their tuition. Residents pay an average of $1,600 a year for classes at a state university; out-of-state students pay $7,400.

The university system appealed that ruling and failed, and has asked the California Supreme Court to rule on the matter. Since 1985, all public universities and colleges in California have followed an order issued by an Alameda County Superior Court that requires campus registrars to consider residency applications from undocumented aliens living in California in the same manner as those of other citizens of the state--a decision that is still in force.

Yaffee is expected to deliver his final judgment in the case this fall.

Bradford is now a judicial assistant to the Los Angeles Superior Court’s family law department. Bradford, whose suit was backed by the conservative Santa Monica-based American Assn. of Women, claimed that the state has spent up to $13 million over the last five years in subsidizing the education of illegal aliens.

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