Former legal secretary Debra Sauers says she was ignored by her supervisors in the Salt Lake County attorney's office and was never warned before being fired.
Sauers, testifying to the Career Service Council, which has the power to reinstate her, said Wednesday she was singled out and targeted by supervisors.Her attorney, Gerry D'Elia, contends Sauers was fired because she supported fellow secretary Shauna Clark in her $1.2 million civil suit against both the county and former County Attorney Ted L. Cannon. The suit recently was settled out of court.
Sauers and Clark were the victims listed in forcible sexual abuse indictments returned against Cannon by a grand jury in 1986.
County officials contend Sauers was fired in January because she was unable to perform her duties and because she made errors.
The hearing, which has lasted more than a month, is expected to end later this week. Council members then will have 10 days to decide whether to reinstate Sauers.
Sauers said Wednesday she suffered from depression because her supervisors were constantly criticizing her for doing the same things other secretaries did.
"I feel honestly that if they paid as much attention to their other employees . . . there would be a lot of terminations," Sauers said. "I was treated more as a leper or someone they just wanted out of there."
D'Elia also contends Sauers was targeted by County Attorney David Yocom, whom he claims rules through vindictiveness.
When Yocom took office in 1986 he transferred D'Elia from a high-profile post as a prosecutor on the Mark W. Hofmann prosecution team to a position in a satellite office. Yocom argued the transfer was not a demotion. D'Elia resigned, alleging that Yocom was punishing him for supporting Yocom's election opponent, Michael Christensen.