The California State Bar issued a statement this afternoon defending its Nov. 7 firing of former Orange County state Senator Joe Dunn as executive director and claiming Dunn's lawsuit response depicting himself as an abused whistleblower is "bewildering."
According to the announcement, Dunn was under investigation based on several complaints and the bar board carefully considered the situation before terminating his employment.
"On July 31, 2014, the board received a complaint from a high-level employee raising serious, wide-ranging allegations about Executive Director Joe Dunn and certain state bar employees," the statement declares. "Another complaint followed in mid-August from another high-level employee."
Following the investigation by an independent law firm, the board voted on Nov. 7 to fire Dunn.
The state bar has not yet disclosed specific accusations.
"At no time prior to Nov. 13 was Joe Dunn ever identified as a whistleblower, and he never brought any such claims to the board," according to the bar's statement that goes on to declare Dunn post-firing lawsuit "baseless."
Dunn claims he discovered egregious ethical and financial maneuverings at the state bar and was fired for not looking the other way.
"[Dunn] only belated raised claims after he was given notice of termination of his employment agreement and after a settlement discussion with his counsel at the Girardi and Keese firm reached an impasse on Nov. 12," the statement says.
Celebrity lawyer and cable TV mouthpiece Mark Geragos is representing Dunn in his lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Dunn–arguably Orange County's most popular Democrat during his multiple terms in Sacramento–was not available for comment this afternoon.