What was the legal issue in this case?
The legal issue in the case of Davis v. The Board of County Commissioners of Doña Ana County involved acts of ill will, which could have been avoided. While employed as a detention officer at the Dona Ana County Detention Center, Joseph Herrera was accused of unsuitable sexual behavior with female prison inmates and of exchanging favors for sex acts. One of the reasons that the Mesilla Valley Hospital (MVH) had hired Herrera is because of the favorable recommendations that were given by Frank Steel and Al Mochen who were in supervisory roles. Steel had investigated the charges that were brought up against Herrera and advised him that he would be reprimanded. He advised Herrera that his performance had been “questionable” and “suspect” and advised Herrera that he would intend to seek disciplinary action. Herrera resigned rather than proceed with the scheduled hearing. Six days after recommending disciplinary action, Steel wrote a letter on Herrera’s behalf stating that he was an “….excellent employee and supervisor. I am confident that you would find Herrera to be an excellent employee” (Walsh, 2010, p. 149). Early December 1994, Herrera applied for employment with MVH and they contacted the Detention Center where Herrera worked for a reference. Mochen told MVH that,” Herrera was a good person and a hard worker whom he would definitely rehire” (Walsh, 2010, p. 149). The Plaintiff in this case sued the County stating that if the misinformation had not been given regarding Herrera’s character and work ethic that he would not have been hired and Plaintiff would not have been assaulted.
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