A federal judge on Monday denied a motion by the Sacramento City Attorney’s Office to throw out a lawsuit alleging that Councilwoman Angelique Ashby fired a former aide in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The lawsuit filed by the councilwoman’s one-time director of constituent affairs, Sarah R. Novo, will now go to the jury. Closing arguments in the case will take place as scheduled on Tuesday in front of U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England.
“I am generally loath to terminate a case completely once it’s gone to the jury,” England said, in a trial in which plaintiff and defense lawyers rested their cases last week. “The jury should be the one to make those determinations.”
Senior assistant city attorney Kathleen Rogan filed a motion last Thursday asking the judge to dismiss the case. Rogan said in her court papers that Novo had “fallen short” of proving her case.
Novo’s lawsuit accuses the city of failing to accommodate her when her husband and one of her children became ill during a toxic mold outbreak at their home. Novo worked for Ashby for a 16-month period ending March 19, 2012.