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San Gabriel Valley Digest

South Pasadena : Buntyn Drops Lawsuit

October 09, 1986

Former Police Chief Samuel L. Buntyn has agreed to discontinue his suit to be reinstated in the job from which he was fired 10 months ago, after the Public Employees' Retirement System and the city granted him full disability benefits this week, attorneys for the city said.

The agreement came after two weeks of court hearings at which city officials aired charges of sexual harassment and insubordination against Buntyn. The former police chief was himself scheduled to take the stand and to make some countercharges which, his attorney had said, would reveal a personal vendetta behind the firing last December.

"The remedy Mr. Buntyn had been seeking through the hearings was to be reinstated," said Linda Jenson, an attorney representing the city. "In light of the disability ruling, that's now irrelevant, and it is unnecessary to proceed with the hearing."

Asked about the timing of the ruling, Jenson said that it had been based upon updated medical reports. "We received additional doctor's reports as well as Mr. Buntyn's deposition, both of which aided us in concluding that he is disabled," said Jenson.

Neither Buntyn nor his attorney, Richard Shinee, could be reached for comment.

A spokeswoman for the Public Employees' Retirement System said that in disability cases like Buntyn's, the recipient is awarded half of his peak annual salary. At the time he was fired, Buntyn was earning $50,496 a year.

The former police chief collapsed in March, 1985, and was hospitalized with a heart ailment. He had been on medical leave from June of last year until his firing in December.

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