A U.S. District Court judge this week tentatively ruled to dismiss a federal lawsuit that a former Burbank police officer brought against the city claiming wrongful termination.
In making the decision on Thursday, a Burbank city attorney said the judge effectively ruled that former police officer Elfego Rodriguez must first allow his termination to play out at City Hall before proceeding in court.
“The basis of the motion is that Elfego Rodriguez has appealed his termination and, legally, he should pursue his termination to the final conclusion,” Burbank Senior Assistant City Atty. Carol Humiston said.
Rodriguez claims he faced discrimination and was fired for speaking up. Court documents show he was terminated in June 2010.
Rodriguez has already begun the process to appeal his termination, and according to his employment contract with the city, a hearing was held with witnesses in front of an agreed-upon mediator, Humiston said.
The mediator’s decision is pending, Humiston added. Once the decision is made, the recommendation goes to City Manager Mike Flad, who makes a final decision.
If either side is unhappy with the decision, a writ could then be filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Humiston said.
U.S. District Court Judge George Wu is scheduled to make a final ruling on the tentative dismissal Thursday.
Humiston added that if the judge did not continue with a tentative ruling, the judge would certainly stay it to allow Rodriguez to go through the appeal process.
Rodriguez’s attorney, Solomon Gresen, did not respond Friday to requests for comment.