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Convicted former O.C. sheriff's official due $362,000 in back pay

November 9, 2011 |  2:26 pm

Jaramillo

A former Orange County assistant sheriff who was sentenced to 27 months in jail for perjury and other misconduct, is owed $362,000 in back pay because he was improperly fired, an appellant court ruled Tuesday.

A three-judge panel of the California 4th District Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that George Jaramillo was entitled to nearly three years of lost wages and retirement income that was withheld after he was fired in 2004.

The county’s second-highest-ranking peace officer, who once was being groomed to become Orange County’s sheriff, said he was fired without a guaranteed hearing after informing then-Sheriff Michael Carona that he would no longer carry out his boss’ dirty work.

County lawyers maintained that Jaramillo signed an at-will employment agreement that allowed him to be fired without cause and that he was entitled to nothing because he had “unclean hands.”

However, the judges sided with Jaramillo, saying the former assistant sheriff’s crimes could not be retroactively used as reasons to affect his pay.

Jaramillo pleaded guilty to mail fraud and filing a false tax return in 2007. The back pay spans from the date of his termination to the date of his plea.

Carona, meanwhile, is serving a 5½-year sentence in federal prison for witness tampering involving a grand jury probe of potential public corruption in his office.

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-- Matt Stevens

Photo: George Jaramillo, left, with his attorney, Joseph G. Cavallo, after Jaramillo's indictment. Credit: Don Kelson / Los Angeles Times

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