A whistle-blower fired while cooperating with a state probe of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing about 18 months ago has lost her appeal before the State Personnel Board.
Kathy Carroll failed to prove that she was dismissed because of whistle-blowing, and her job performance included incidents of insubordination and other misbehavior that warranted sanction, the board found.
Carroll, a former commission attorney, said the ruling was political and followed a hearing before an administrative law judge in which she was not given adequate time or allowed to present all her witnesses.
"It was a kangaroo court," Carroll said in an interview Wednesday.
Commission officials called the ruling "complete, comprehensive and well-reasoned" but declined to comment on specific findings Thursday.
Carroll, 50, was fired in November 2010 during a state investigation of the commission, which is charged with credentialing teachers, sanctioning them for misconduct, and accrediting teacher credential programs.
The probe ended with State Auditor Elaine Howle calling the agency one of the "worst run" that she ever has investigated.
Howle found major procedural flaws in nearly every aspect of the commission's regulatory process including lapses in launching investigations, gathering facts, tracking cases and revoking or suspending teacher credentials for misconduct.
Since Howle's report, released in April 2011, Executive Director Dale Janssen has retired, Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed numerous new commission trustees, and the commission has pushed to correct deficiencies.
Carroll won a partial victory this month when the personnel board rejected charges against her of incompetence, inefficiency and alleged sexual harassment of a member of a commission advisory committee.
The board ruled May 7 that Carroll's firing was warranted, however, due to insubordination, willful disobedience, discourteous treatment, dishonesty, inexcusable neglect of duty and other "failure of good behavior."
Carroll "harmed the public service by going out of her way to tell co-workers disparaging remarks about others or tell the co-workers remarks others had made about them," the board ruled.
"Her immature conduct appears to be designed to cause rifts in the workplace and she failed to exercise self-control in her interactions with co-workers and her supervisors."
Carroll "breached the trust" placed in her as an attorney, and the "likelihood of recurrence" is high, the board concluded.
Carroll was "entrusted with a great deal of responsibility and authority, and clients must be able to trust attorneys to exercise good judgment and provide sound and sober advice," the ruling said.
Carroll said she is likely to appeal her case to Superior Court.