Denning v. Johnson County Sheriff's Civil Serv. Bd.Annotate this Case
Johnson County Sheriff’s Department Master Deputy Michael Maurer cracked a department vehicle’s windshield with a binder while attempting to shoo away a horsefly. Maurer initially reported that the cracked windshield was caused by a rock, but after a fellow deputy reported the true facts, Maurer eventually admitted his responsibility in damaging the windshield. After an investigation and hearing, the Johnson County Sheriff terminated Maurer’s employment for violating the department’s standards on truthfulness. Maurer appealed to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Civil Service Board (CSB), which reversed the Sheriff’s decision. The district court vacated the CSB’s decision and remanded to the CSB. On remand, the CSB upheld the Sheriff’s decision to terminate Maurer. The district court affirmed the CSB’s second decision. The court of appeals affirmed both district court decisions, upholding Maurer’s termination. The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision affirming the district court’s decision to vacate the CSB’s first decision, holding that the CSB exceeded the scope of its authority and its decision was not substantially supported by the evidence.