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Ex-fire captain accused of racking up $26,000 in toll fines sues Newport Beach

June 26, 2011 |  8:49 am

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A former Newport Beach fire official accused of racking up $26,000 in unpaid toll road fees while using a city vehicle has sued the city for alleged discrimination and retaliation against an injured worker, court records show.

Paul Matheis, a former divisional fire chief, filed a lawsuit against the city of Newport Beach in Orange County Superior Court claiming that the city began to retaliate against him after he suffered a shoulder injury in an accident that required time off in 2009, according to a May 25 lawsuit. "You're talking about a 30-year veteran with an outstanding record here," Wylie Aitken, an attorney representing Matheis, told the Daily Pilot.

Matheis, 52, in his lawsuit claims he filed grievances about the way the city service board was conducting business by not following the city's policies and procedures. He was also critical of the bargaining agreement the Fire Department reached with the city.

Matheis asserts that he began noticing retaliation from the city in April 10 when it began an investigation of his use of a city-owned Chevy Tahoe after receiving a bill for $26,000 in fines for unpaid fees on the 241 Toll Road. The city issued a notice of intent to discipline on Oct. 27, 2010.

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-- Lauren Williams, Times Community News

Photo: The 241 Toll Road. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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