UPLAND - The City Council's decision in May 2011 to fire City Manager Robb Quincey has been upheld by an arbitration judge.

Judge Sam Cianchetti found that Quincey violated the city's ethics rules and broke his employment contract by intentionally concealing his settlement of a claim brought by an Upland police officer who investigated a July 2008 domestic incident involving Quincey and his girlfriend.

"I think that the city is pleased that a very well-respected retired judge, Sam Cianchetti, has upheld the council's decision to terminate Quincey," said Timothy Owen, the city's attorney.

Following arbitration proceedings in June, Cianchetti upheld the termination two weeks ago.

City officials kept the decision under wraps on their attorney's advice until Wednesday, after they received permission from the judge to make it public.

"I'm just thrilled that it's behind us," Mayor Ray Musser said.

Quincey sued the city in November alleging his firing was without cause and sought $7.8 million in damages.

Quincey's lawsuit also accused Mayor Ray Musser and Councilman Ken Willis of defamation and placing Quincey in a false light, which was thrown out by the judge prior to the week-long arbitration proceedings, Owens said.

It is still to be decided whether Quincey is owed compensation for unused leave and 30 days of wages.

"The city's position is that Quincey is not owed anything, but the judge is going to want some additional information on that," Owens said.

A final decision in the arbitration could be expected by the end of the month, he said.

City officials rejected Quincey's claim in January, which triggered an arbitration clause in his employment contract.

Following the finalization of arbitration, the winning party will ask a Superior Court judge to award judgment and confirm Cianchetti's decision, Owens said.

The City Council placed Quincey on paid leave in January 2011 following reports that he settled two claims in January 2010 involving Upland police for $50,000, which at the time surpassed the amount he was allowed to settle.

According to Quincey's claim, the two claims were settled separately for $25,000 each, which was within his authority.

The council terminated Quincey in May for violating his employment contract and failing to follow specific direction, but did not specify the violations that resulted in the termination.

According to an Upland police report of the incident, officers were called to the home of Quincey's ex-fiancee on July 27, 2008, after she received three text messages from him that she found threatening.

The officers also investigated claims that Quincey kicked and punched her car when she was leaving his residence earlier in the day.

No charges were filed.

In January 2010, the police union's attorney emailed a tort claim to Quincey on behalf of Upland police Sgt. John Moore.

Moore accused Quincey, now former Police Chief Steve Adams and former Mayor John Pomierski of retaliating against him when he refused to destroy Quincey's police report.

He also alleged he was passed over for a promotion to lieutenant.

Quincey negotiated a settlement with the union attorney resulting in a $50,000 payment, which was said to include another complaint filed by Upland police during the same month.

As part of the settlement agreement, Moore was promoted to lieutenant.

Cianchetti said in his ruling that Quincey did not inform the council of the claim and used city money to fund the settlement.


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