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West Ventura County Focus

OXNARD : Ex-College Employee Fighting Her Firing

October 22, 1994|JEFF McDONALD

The former manager of the Oxnard College bookstore is challenging the trustees' decision to fire her last summer, claiming she was never given a chance to improve her record-keeping after a damaging audit.

Sharon Davies took her grievance to the Ventura County Community College District, which held an administrative hearing before the personnel commission this week.

Such administrative hearings must be held at the district level before a wrongful termination lawsuit can be filed.

Davies' attorney, David Bernstein of Beverly Hills, told commissioners that district officials made a scapegoat of his client for bookstore losses, which amounted to at least $40,000 over a six-month period.

"The punishment does not fit the crime," Bernstein said.

Stuart W. Rudnick, who represents the college district in the proceeding, said Davies was fired simply because she was not doing the job she was hired to perform.

"Ms. Davies was operating a million-dollar-a-year business out of a shoe box and not doing it very well," Rudnick said. "There was no way of knowing if all the money that was supposed to be in the register was there."

An independent audit of the Oxnard College bookstore conducted earlier this year turned up numerous record-keeping discrepancies and losses of more than $40,000 for the last six months of 1993.

Trustees decided to fire Davies on the recommendation of college President Elise D. Schneider following a closed-door meeting in June.

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