MODESTO, Jan 29, 2013 (The Modesto Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A former deputy sheriff whose discrimination trial uncovered the department's controversial use of a "limp, lame and lazy" list was reinstated Monday and reports to work Wednesday.
Dennis Wallace, on unpaid leave for two years, said he is "ecstatic."
His lawsuit against Stanislaus County and the Sheriff's Department ended in a hung jury in August. A previous injury should not keep him from working, he had said, while the county contended that he could put co-workers and the public at risk.
A county personnel administrator this afternoon confirmed that Wallace recently passed a fitness-for-duty exam and will return Wednesday.
The county launched an investigation into the Sheriff's Department's use of "limp, lame and lazy" to describe injured employees, and Sheriff Adam Christianson publicly apologized in August, before the end of Wallace's trial.
Wallace has subsisted on "faith, family and friends," he said.
A judge in December scheduled a new trial May 7. The status of that lawsuit -- including questions about back pay and benefits -- and a worker compensation claim remain up in the air, Wallace said.
The department continues to face lawsuits brought by two other former deputies who say they were forced out after being injured.
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