Schlueter fired for violating office policy; Deputy DA plans to file civil suit
A deputy district attorney who challenged incumbent Gary Lacy for his job as district attorney of El Dorado County got fired Friday, one month after the election.
Erik Schlueter, who worked as a prosecutor for El Dorado for 15 years, received a letter on Friday that informed him of the termination. Lacy put Schlueter on administrative leave Nov. 19, two days after he returned from a post-election trip to England with his wife.
“Erik is no longer employed by our office,” Hans Uthe, assistant district attorney, said Sunday, speaking on behalf of Lacy. “We are unable to make any further comment as state law indicates.”
The district attorney’s office indicated he was put on leave and then fired for violating office policy in remarks he made at gatherings he attended prior to the election. The gatherings were meetings of Women Helping Women, an alleged pyramid scheme.
“I did not violate any office policies by what I did,” Schlueter said. “It’s just political retaliation. I’m being fired because I ran against him. It’s typical of his management style.”
Schlueter has retained an attorney and is appealing his termination through county civil service proceedings. His attorney, Paul Goyette, has also indicated he will file a civil suit regarding the matter.
“My attitude is to expect the worst and hope for the best,” Schlueter said. “I was really hoping he wasn’t as petty as I thought. I thought he was just trying to scare me back into line. He proved to me he’s just what I thought he was.”
Schlueter received more votes than Lacy in the March primary, a contest that involved three candidates. In November, Lacy received 54 percent of the vote, securing a third term as district attorney.
Schlueter plans to stay in El Dorado County and work in private practice.
“Nobody’s going to run me out of this county,” Schlueter said. “I’m going to continue to try to make a difference in this county.”
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