Judge Delays Decision on Archie Warren's Case Against Sheriff Scott Miller
August 30, 2011
Monterey County Superior Court Judge Larry Hayes delayed his ruling today in Detective Sgt. Archie Warren's lawsuit against Sheriff Scott Miller, citing the need to further review evidence presented by attorneys for both men.
Jeffrey Edwards, Warren's attorney, also asked for an injunction to stop the Sheriff's administrative investigation of Warren's conduct in the month-long investigation and subsequent arrest of Miller's son, Jacob, on multiple drug charges. He referenced Warren's civil complaint, filed July 1 in Monterey County Superior Court, that alleges misconduct by Miller and Undersheriff Max Houser, claiming Houser violated Warren's rights under the Peace Officers Bill of Rights by interrogating him about the Jacob Miller investigation and searching a safe in his office for information about a confidential informant in that case.
"There is nothing normal about the undersheriff's behavior," Edwards told the court, adding that it's not within an undersheriff's purview to question an officer of Warren's stature in such a manner. He also questioned Warren's transfer from the Narcotics Unit to the Cornoner's Office a week after filing his suit against the sheriff.
"There is no evidence as to why he was transferred to the most undesirable unit," Edwards said, inferring that the move was in retaliation for Warren's civil complaint.
In response, Miller's attorney Mark Mayer said that since there was no change in Warren's rank, salary or level of responsibility, the allegations of retaliation were baseless. He also dismissed allegations of improper conduct on the part of Houser. "A subordinate doesn't get to say, 'my superior can't investigate me,'" said Mayer. "That's an arrogant comment coming from the Sergeant."
Both sides will have to wait a while longer for resolution: Judge Hayes did not set a date for his final ruling. But Edwards felt positive about the decision to further investigate the POBOR violations.
"I'm happy that the judge understood our arguments," Edwards said. "I'm looking forward to [Hayes'] decision."