A Santa Barbara Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that former county public defender James Egar can proceed with seven claims he filed in a lawsuit against the county and his former boss, county CEO Mike Brown, citing discrimination and harassment in violation of the state’s Employment and Housing Act. Judge Thomas Anderle, in his tentative ruling, which he made final at the 2/5 hearing, said Egar deserved his day in court and will get it in October. Egar, through his attorney Janean Acevedo Daniels, originally filed a suit in May listing 13 complaints. An amended complaint was filed in November after Anderle made a recommendation that they downsize the number of complaints and add more specific facts to the case.
Egar, who now works as the public defender in Monterey County, alleges in the complaint that the county, and specifically Brown, took adverse actions against him, including a threat to “slaughter” him in front of the Board of Supervisors. On multiple occasions, according to the complaint, Brown yelled at Egar, even going so far as to spit at him. He also alleges that he didn’t receive the support he needed to run the public defender’s office effectively.