Judge rules for state in fire program manager case

Carson District Judge Mike Griffin has overturned a hearing officer's ruling that forced Dana Holbrook out of his job as Western Nevada Fire Program manager was a case of harassment.

Hearing Officer Pat Dolan ruled Holbrook was reassigned to the job of Conservation Camp coordinator to harass him. Dolan pointed out that the new position pays less money and doesn't have the substantial standby and overtime pay of the forester's job.

Griffin ruled that State Forester Steve Robinson's actions don't constitute harassment.

"He was appointed by the governor to reorganize the agency," Griffin's ruling says.

He pointed out that Robinson also transferred five other upper-level managers at the same time, saying, "In order for his actions to constitute harassment, the conclusion must be made that he also transferred the five other employees just to annoy or vex them."

Griffin concluded that because several upper managers were given new assignments that "lends credibility to (Robinson's) claim that the transfers were done to reorganize and reenergize NDF."

Holbrook was Western Regional Fire Program manager from April 1995 until his reassignment in June 2001. He won a hearing officer's order reinstating him to the position in December 2001. Griffin ordered that decision overturned.


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