3:58 p.m., Feb. 19
Former Beauty Queen, Police Officer Loses Wrongful Termination Suit
A San Diego Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of the Chula Vista Police Department over the termination of former officer and beauty queen Deanna Mory.
The police department hopes the ruling will end a five year legal battle with Mory, who was originally terminated in 2008 after she entered her ex-boyfriend’s home and took back an $18,000 diamond ring she’d returned after breaking off an engagement. A different judge earlier last week ruled in a criminal case that the ring did indeed belong to the former fiancé, and ordered it returned to him.
Mory had been involved in litigation against her former employer for two years prior to her dismissal, first filing a discrimination suit after being crowned Ms. California in 2006 and being ordered by the department to surrender her crown and not to participate in the Ms. United States Pageant in Las Vegas. The department argued that the beauty pageants were interfering with her police training.
Mory instead chose to participate in the national pageant, then filed a second suit in 2007 alleging retaliation and conspiracy by nine lieutenants and top city officials to pressure the police union to drop her case. She lost both suits.
Another wrongful termination action is still pending in federal court, which city and police officials in Chula Vista hope will be dismissed.
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