The Civil Service Commission found Wednesday that a former sheriff's deputy who was fired for taking part in horseplay and pranks at the Pitchess Honor Ranch in Castaic should be reinstated because he was singled out for dismissal.
Hearing officer Karen Orren found that former deputy Brent P. Talmo was treated more harshly than other deputies who engaged in similar acts.
Talmo was fired three years ago after completing his probationary period.
Orren's recommendation that Talmo be given a 90-day suspension for three separate incidents was adopted by the commission.
Talmo and other deputies at the honor ranch were accused of taking part in a series of pranks among themselves and inmates, including putting a dead gopher in an inmate's pocket and carrying out so-called "search and destroy" missions in inmates' barracks, damaging the inmates' and county property.