Marine Hero Deputy Cheated By Orange County Sheriff's Department Wants $2 Million

scottmontoyafront.jpg
Photo by Jack Gould
Scott Montoya
A deputy wrongly fired from his $99,000 per year post after enduring an anti-military bias inside the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) is asking a federal judge to award him $1.964 million for income he would have gained if he'd been allowed to finish his career and retire at the department.

Late last year, a federal jury concluded that OCSD illegally harassed and discriminated against Scott Montoya after the deputy returned from combat duty as a U.S. Marine in Iraq and earned the prestigious Navy Cross for his life-saving heroics while under enemy fire.

Rejecting OCSD arguments that Montoya was fired for being an unethical moron and that even if the jury found in the terminated deputy's favor on the hostile work environment issues they couldn't award him any money, jurors nonetheless handed the war hero more than $206,000 for prior, lost wages and another $41,800 for improperly confiscated vacation pay.

U.S. District Court Judge Jesus G. Bernal decided it's his lone right to determine if Montoya--now unemployable because of post traumatic stress disorder--is also entitled to "front pay," or money he would have earned if he'd remained a deputy until the age of 63.

During a one-day, court trial inside federal court in Riverside this month, Bernal heard arguments from OCSD lawyers, who claim Montoya shouldn't get a penny in front pay, and from John S. Kyle, the ex-deputy's legal counsel, who insisted he should get nearly $2 million.

Bernal hasn't yet decided the issue, but OSCD lawyer William L. Haluck advised the judge to use "extreme caution" because he thinks he can embarrass him with an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

After Montoya returned from combat, the department placed him in Stanton, where other deputies mocked his heroics, degraded the Navy Cross, placed a dildo and lube in his equipment bag, dragged his locker into a toilet, threatened violence, called him names, pressed citizens to file complaints against him, attached GPS devices to his personal vehicles, secretly raided his private cell phone, placed hidden surveillance cameras at his home, bizarrely investigated the size of his genitals and stamina in bed with women, told him they would not back him up during dangerous calls, asked Pentagon officials to revoke his combat honor and then fired him.

During the April 2003 Battle of Baghdad, Montoya--a member of a scout sniper squad--repeatedly ignored incoming enemy gunfire to rescue four seriously wounded fellow Marines and an innocent Iraqi citizen.

Go HERE to see a report detailing the controversial trial.

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

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12 comments
jacknapes
jacknapes

I happen to know the deputy Keller who was the man responsible for the harrasement of Montoya,  Keller is a foolish bully who gets drunk on duty crashes cars, and abuses inmates and people but he still has a job due to his daddy!  There are a lot of corrupt deputy's and they need to be fired! But the sheriff is not doing her job in firing those guilty of the harrasement of Montoya!

jawaharmohanty
jawaharmohanty

WTF is wrong with all the police?  Is it unrealistic to expect police officers to act with a normal amount of ethics today?  In less than 10 days in the news in Southern California we see justice denied that involves police wrong doings.


A Torrance police officer who opened fire on an innocent local surfer during the Christopher Dorner manhunt will not face charges and was 'justified' in his actions, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office says. 

(This man had been pulled over prior 2 times and the third time they rammed his car and shot at him and this is considered JUSTIFIED)


The KELLY THOMAS MURDER-  Yes it was MURDER and both officers were found not guilty even with video evidence.  MURDER, MURDER MURDER IS OK IF YOU ARE A COP-  This is the message that is given, It's acceptable to murder someone as long as you are a police officer.


and now


 SCOTT MONTOYA ... This is a story that falls behind the murder of Kelly Thomas but still just as disturbing.  You have a lawyers representing OCSD  warning the judge he better use  "extreme caution" because he thinks he can embarrass him with an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  BUT WHAT'S WORSE IN THIS CASE  All of the harassment that Scott Montoya has faced  and for what.....because he fought for this country and was awarded the prestigious Navy Cross for risking his life for his fellow soldiers.    These cops are so stupid you would think they would roll out the red carpet for a man willing to risk his life for his fellow troops but instead they torment him and fire him unjustly.  

ussaisapolicestate
ussaisapolicestate

Fuck the courts Montoya. You need to go all CHRISTOPHER DORNER on their corrupt asses!

PaulyWalnuts
PaulyWalnuts

This guy deserves 10 million. Fire the people that harassed him.

magicvilas
magicvilas

I remember reading the in depth story on this awhile ago. 

If I had to make a call, it's that he's an immature douche, and the deputies that harassed him are wolf pack criminals...

It's a lose-lose. 

robnraa
robnraa

There is something that does not add up in this story. In Law Enforcement, vets and especially decorated combat vets are highly esteemed. You have described treatment that is reserved for snitches- was this guy a snitch?- he had to have done something to really piss off his partners- the story makes it sound like they were jealous or resentful of his heroism. If thats the case theyneed to be dealt with.

tiscarenomatthew
tiscarenomatthew

If this is all true , the sheriffs dept need to stop hiring all these immature boys to be deputies . If they can treat a fellow deputy this way just think of how they'll treat a citizen .

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@PaulyWalnuts 

Agree! He deserves much more than he's asking...and those sociopaths who made his life hell should never work in law enforcement ever again!

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

By snitch do you mean a deputy who's trying to do his job and expose corruption?

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

"How they will treat a citizen" -> "How they are treating citizens"

robnraa
robnraa

@18usc241No- that would be a whistleblower and I am 100% for whistleblowers.  In the military and para-military cultures I am referring to guys who will attempt to advance their own careers by reporting relatively minor (not illegal) transgressions or policy violations by other members of their units. I am not referring to unlawful behavior. If you have been in the military or LE you would know exactly what I am referring to. 

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Does working as an engineer on surveillance state projects often on Colombian mountain tops with the cooperation of the Colombian security forces where sometimes the scene outside the window wasn't a sunny day and California palm trees but instead Amazon storm clouds and a Colombian military artillery battery for 11 years count as experience?

Regarding how it doesn't make sense that Orange County CA law enforcement could be so disrespectful to ex-military heros - well if they didn't respect Dominic Mercadante then Montoya never had a chance.

http://m.legacy.com/obituaries/orangecounty/obituary.aspx?n=&pid=150551744&referrer=0&preview=True

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