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Fired O.C. Official Gets $1.7 Million From Jury

April 09, 2005|Dave McKibben | Times Staff Writer

An Orange County jury on Friday awarded the former director of the county's Office on Aging $1.7 million for being the victim of retaliation and found Supervisor Chris Norby guilty of creating a hostile work environment.

The amount awarded Pamela Mokler is the largest judgment award handed down to an employee who sued Orange County for losing a job, county officials said.

"I didn't give the jury a number," said H. Bryan Card, Mokler's attorney. He said he never asked the jury for a specific amount beyond the two months' payment -- roughly $14,000 -- he said she was owed.

Although Norby was found guilty of creating a hostile work environment, jurors did not award any damages from her claim against him.

Mokler, who was fired by the county two years ago, accused Norby of making inappropriate comments about her appearance and said he once touched her breast.

The jury of six men and six women, who deliberated a day and a half in the 20-day trial before Orange County Superior Court Judge W. Michael Hayes, believed Mokler's contention that she'd been a victim of retaliation.

Mokler was awarded $14,000 for two months' pay and $1.68 million in compensatory damages.

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