By Joe Nelson, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 08/28/13, 5:19 PM PDT | Updated: 5 hrs ago

San Bernardino County will pay a former sheriff’s deputy $885,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging he was fired for taking time off from work to care for his ailing mother.

The county will pay Travis Bauer, a former Needles sheriff’s deputy, $49,000 to resolve worker’s compensation claims and $836,000 to settle all claims in his lawsuit.

The settlement is not an admission of liability on the county’s part, but a means to avert costly ongoing litigation, county spokesman David Wert said in a statement.

“The settlement represents a global settlement of five ongoing cases: plaintiff’s appeal of his termination with the civil service commission, a federal lawsuit which alleged retaliation and interference due to FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) leave, and three workers’ compensation claims,” Wert said in his statement.

The county will also, within the next month, rescind Bauer’s termination and accept from him a retroactive resignation. In addition, the county’s response to reference checks by any future potential employer of Bauer’s will only confirm his past employment with the department, the dates in which he was employed there, his job classification and the salary range for that position, according to the settlement agreement.

“I have mixed emotions about this case,” said Christopher L. Gaspard, one of Bauer’s attorneys with the Upland law firm of Lackie, Dammeirer, McGill & Ethir. “No amount of money is going to make him whole…Travis put his heart and soul into policing.

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