Sheriff's Department Cheated Deputy Who Won Navy Cross For Iraqi War Heroics: Jury

scottmontoyaver.jpg
Steve Weigl
Montoya: abused Marine hero
In the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) deputy Scott Montoya volunteered to fight as a U.S. Marine in Iraq, won the Navy Cross for exceptional combat heroics at the 2003 Battle of Baghdad, and returned to the OCSD, where he found colleagues determined to ridicule his service to this nation.

OCSD management officials not only allowed the hostile work environment to exist, but they also participated in the discrimination.

That's the decision this month of a jury of six women and two men who declared that OCSD's treatment of Montoya--who five times ran through enemy fire to rescue wounded individuals--violated the Uniformed Service-members Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA), a federal law that protects returning soldiers from an anti-military animus in the civilian workplace.

Evidence compiled in the case proved that OCSD deputies and higher ranking officers repeatedly tormented Montoya by mocking his combat heroics, spreading false rumors, sabotaging his locker, doctoring documents, encouraging citizens to file complaints against him, calling him "stupid," suggesting they would not back him up on dangerous patrol calls, hiding GPS devices on his personal vehicles, placing surveillance cameras at his home, cursing him in front of citizens and, like high school punks, displaying a large dildo, lubricant bottle and condoms with his deputy gear.

The department's lawyer, William Haluck of Irvine, unsuccessfully lobbied jurors to view the acts as simple "jokes" or "pranks," and repeatedly tried to slime Montoya and his Navy Cross without offering a shred of evidence that the honor wasn't deserved.

Haluck is now telling the jury that despite their finding of a hostile workplace for the war hero--a term, by the way, Montoya refuses to use about himself--the former deputy isn't entitled to any monetary relief because after he complained about his treatment the department found valid, disciplinary reasons to terminate him in 2010.

Whether U.S. District Court Judge Jesus Bernal and the jury will decide OCSD can escape violating USERRA without paying Montoya, who now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is under consideration today.

The sheriff's department destroyed several years' worth of internal emails before the case got to the jury--records Montoya attorney John Kyle of San Diego said could have potentially underscored the anti-military animus.

Go HERE to see my pre-trial, cover story about the case.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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34 comments
123456
123456

Seems like this Marine should run for the next election as Sheriff.  I'll donate to that campaign.

Anonymous
Anonymous

WOW.... sounds like Mr. Montoya worked at the Diocese of Orange and participated in Whistleblower activities, via reporting wrongdoing about failures to protect children from sex abuse and potential child endangerment crimes...."mocking his combat heroics, spreading false rumors, sabotaging his locker, doctoring documents, encouraging citizens to file complaints against him, calling him "stupid"..."

OOPS, almost forgot, the Diocese of Orange and the OC Sheriff's Department SHARE the same defense attorneys--this explains Montoya's treatment!!!!!

mike90802
mike90802

Maybe they should serve our country instead of spending their days issuing BS tickets and beating people. Another example how law enforcement agencies in Southern California push the good people out an promote all the bad seeds to leaderships to continue their culture of corruption and brutality (like LAPD thugs with badges) just like good ole disgraced Sheriff Mike Corona

malacorazon
malacorazon

So nothings changed sincd Nam.  Between hippies rggin on ya the cops always/ loved to proove they were the "real" heros.  Rambo.might have been a movie, don't/ mean it wasnt true.



ltpar
ltpar topcommenter

Not entitled to monetary compensation the lawyer says?  What a load of bullshit.  I know nothing of the facts surrounding this case except, Montoya's career with the Sheriffs Department is ruined and at an end.  Considering the jacket the Sheriffs will hang on him, it will be tough for him to get hired in law enforcement anywhere in California.  If I were on that Jury, I would award Montoya a large enough sum of money to send a crystal clear mesage to the Sheriffs, to get their act together.  Shame on the Administration of the Sheriffs Department for allowing this to happen.  Semper Fidelis.  

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

It is the complete fault and responsibility of Sandra "Good to great" Hutchens, Mike "the jailbird" Carona and Brad "the racist retard " Gates that there are so many criminal Viking berserker like deputies in the Orange County Sheriffs department. It's been like this since the 90' s at least. You three must want it this way because you personally benefit from it. The road to hell is paved with alot of pensions.

Tina Monarrez
Tina Monarrez

Looks like he was an awesome war hero and then became a lying, horny, cheating bastard cop. Now what about the others?

jpark1775
jpark1775

This is so awesome! I'm so proud of Scotty for not giving up and fighting until the end. It's funny how even after this proven victory, people still have negative things to say about him. What's sad is that the nay sayers have only heard what they have from others. I've served with him. The first day I was introduced to him, he simply referred to himself as "Scotty." No formalities or pulling of rank. I just spoke with him a few days ago and was so relieved that this fiasco has come to an end. Love ya Scotty! Semper Fidelis, Marine.

anotherlogan
anotherlogan

Is this the same guy who told a 17 year old he would fuck her with a dick so big it would make an elephant scream and blackmailed prostitutes for sex? Yes it is. Still a prick for suing the OCSD after such gross negligence. 

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

By the way, if the Orange County CA mafia police didn't respect the Stanton based engineering company of an Italian American WW2 German prisoner of war hero who tried to join the US Army before the age of eighteen why would anyone expect these losers to respect some Hispanic American Iraq war veteran. And notice the ever present GPS receiever stunt used as a tool to engage in criminal acts.

Oh surveillance state criminal acts - let me count the ways.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

The Orange County Sheriffs department is a morally bankrupt criminally racist disgrace. The mafia trash bully imbeciles exposed in this lawsuit aren't an exception but a significant segment of this force. In my particular case, it's a three way horse race as for which PD is most lost in the head - OCSD / Garden Grove PD or the CHP. And thanks again Brad Gates for trying to foul up my Colombian immigrant wife's immigration process - white trash.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Someone who so selflessly served his country and saved the lives of his fellow soldiers deserves thanks and respect, not juvenile pranks and harassment. Shame on you OCSD!

Janell Julian Abel
Janell Julian Abel

It will be interesting to read the court transcripts on this one.

bigjohnt
bigjohnt

mala.....Why not re-post your comment in English instead of ghetto speak?

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@malacorazon  

Well, this "hippie" posted a note three days ago to show my support for Montoya. I'm against war but have the utmost respect for our soldiers. Someone who selflessly sacrifices themselves for their country deserves my gratitude, no matter how I feel about the particular conflict they are sent to fight in.

Anonymous
Anonymous

@ltpar You are 100% correct.... Montoya will be blacklisted and hopefully the jury will compensate him appropriately.

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

@anotherlogan From your cowardly perch, you either wrote or decided to regurgitate the Orange County Sheriff's Department's now jury-rejected, shameless and laughable script. Perhaps OCSD should treat one of the nation's most honored Marine combat heroes with due respect. Perhaps OCSD shouldn't place cameras around a fellow deputy's home and put GPS on his personal vehicles. Perhaps OCSD could resist a bizarre fascination with the private, sex life of a deputy unsuspected of any crime. Perhaps OCSD--a museum of ethical horrors during the last decade--could focus on cleaning up its own act. After covering OCSD for 18 years, my suggestion: start with the warped air support unit, a cesspool of brazen corruption. But, alas, that won't happen because Sheriff Sandra Hutchens is willing to allow that unit to harass personal enemies with taxpayer-funded, department helicopters and planes.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

At least he wasn't accused of murder, attempted murder, property destruction, heinous privacy violations and deliberate reputation destruction while hiding behind a police badge. In other words, he has a far superior set of ethics than some other "cops" in Orange County CA. Pretty low standard bar - even Bernie Madoff passes.

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

@anotherlogan Oh, horrors of horrors! If true, Montoya would be the first Orange County Sheriff's Department deputy to be an obnoxious ass? Give me a break. I'll tell you what I know is the difference between Deputy Scott Montoya and every other smart ass, rude, stupid, slimy, unethical, cocky deputy at OCSD: He volunteered for Marine combat duty and, like no one else, earned the Navy Cross by FIVE TIMES running through enemy fire to rescue wounded people. I see that you bark your bullshit, "anotherlogan," from a fake name. Pathetic. If nothing else, Montoya didn't hide cowardly while he honorably served this nation in combat. Shame on you.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

And to the mythical "good" deputies in Orange County, CA when are you going to do your job and arrest or remove your criminal colleauges. You are not a good cop if you make exceptions for your buddies. A criminal cop is 10 times more dangerous than a criminal civilian due to the resources at their disposal. Doing good police work with one hand while holding your nose with the other has to eat at you - doesn't it?

ltpar
ltpar topcommenter

@Benjamin Shelley Not anymore than Construction Workers, School Teachers, Priests and politicans suck.  Every profession has it's mostly "good guys" and it's fewer "shitheads."  One cannot broadbrush everyone by the acts of a few and that includes the men and women in uniform.  

mike90802
mike90802

@Janell Julian Abel Knowing OC's "judicial" system will probably be closed hearings and sealed records. Sunshine the best disinfectant? Not the the government here - local, state or federal.

949girl
949girl topcommenter

@rscottmoxley @anotherlogan I'm confused @rscottmoxley because wasn't that how the OC Weekly wrote about Scott Montoya.  I haven't gone back to review previous articles on him but I'm pretty sure the OCWeekly is the one who wrote about him and his weird sexual stuff on the job.  It seems like you are changing your stance on him now. 

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

I wonder if people in Orange County CA would approve of police helicopter pilots deliberately harassing a target at night while he is driving thereby putting both the target and everyone around the target in danger. And when the criminal act was repeated often enough it left the target with the awful impression that this is exactly what these assholes were trying to accomplish. Screw up the target in order to save your criminal asses from eventual prosecution for acting like mafia trash. And who cares about anyone else on the road correct. Just pawns all.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

I wonder if people in Orange County CA would approve of police helicopter pilots deliberately harassing a target at night while he is driving thereby putting both the target and everyone around the target in danger. And when the criminal act was repeated often enough it left the target with the awful impression that this is exactly what these assholes were trying to accomplish. Screw up the target in order to save your criminal asses from eventual prosecution for acting like mafia trash. And who cares about anyone else on the road correct. Just pawns all.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Please write a story about the wannabe winged terrorists of the oc police helicopter force. Assholes who think it's funny to be harassing someone while he is driving at night therefore putting the target and everyone around the target in danger. Almost as if that what these pricks wanted in order to cover their criminal asses.

ltpar
ltpar topcommenter

@rscottmoxley @anotherlogan Great response Scott to a guy who probably wouldn't make a pimple on a real Marine's ass.  Semper Fidelis.  

mike90802
mike90802

@ltpar 

True but some departments are better than others I have family in law enforcement in Ohio and they would never do do the the stuff I have seen with LAPD, LASD, OCSD, Fullerton Police Dept, Torrance Police Dept, RCSD, SBSD... so many beatings unjustified shootings and the taxpayers take responsibility for it every time without complaint not the officers involved half the time never the inept or corrupt leadership at the departments  

949girl
949girl topcommenter

@rscottmoxley 
@949girl From what you witnessed in the trial was the starting point of his harrassment or what was the motive from the defense for them to be out to get him?  I'm sure he wasn't hired and this started from day one?  Something must have occurred. 

I believed the stories I read about him and now I feel bad if they aren't true, because any google search is going to always associate his name with dildos, stallions and rude sexual allegations.  My point was that the readers read articles that weren't favorably written about him and form an opinion and then someone uses a quote that was used by this site and then schooled by the writer himself who helped put those ideas out there.  


rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

@949girl @rscottmoxley I appreciate your point, but here's the critical difference: It was the OCSD that insisted Deputy Montoya had been inappropriate with certain females, not me. They created the smearing record. They made that information public. Yes, I reported what the county's major law enforcement agency claimed at the time. For several years, reporters had access just to the OCSD version of events. I was the only journalist to cover this case from the beginning and the only one to cover the just finished trial, where the department had the opportunity during several weeks of testimony to support its claims. It failed. When I receive better, more complete information in a case, I shouldn't be locked into a stale stance that does not fit the evidence. The fact is that certain deputies inside the OCSD manufactured, to be polite, a disingenuous case that Montoya was a some sort of crazed monster. Now, having had access to all the evidence as of the end of last week, the allegation is despicable.

949girl
949girl topcommenter

@rscottmoxley @949girl I think to say the other commenter was on a "cowardly perch" is a little hyprocritical because a previous article used that exact info or something very similar written by Matt Coker.  Also, the cartoons or illustrations went along with it so most of us readers got the idea that this guy is a major creep.  The Weekly has never reported on him in a favorable way so I guess I just got annoyed with your comment.

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

@949girl @jpark1775 @rscottmoxley Yes, we reported on the reports OCSD compiled against Montoya as they became available. But having just witnessed a lengthy trial, it's clear certain people in the department mounted a one-side campaign with a dubious collection of allegations in hopes of a twofold objective: smearing this deputy and defeating him in court. 

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