Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell Hired by Orange County Clerk of Court to Conduct Investigation


Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell was hired by the Orange County Clerk of Courts office to conduct an investigation into allegations of two top employees taking severance payouts and continuing to work in their jobs.

In what became a high profile media story, Rumberger was hired by new Clerk of Court, Eddie Fernandez to investigate more than $275,000 in payouts by general counsel, former Judge Stephan Carter and interim clerk Colleen Reilly. Reilly and Carter allege that the payouts were part of a severance deal they made with former Clerk Lydia Gardner in case they lost their jobs when she left office. Gardner died while in office and the two took their payments within a day after Gardner’s death, all the while, they continued to work. 

Rumberger partner Dan Gerber concluded that while Reilly became interim Clerk, Carter’s job as general counsel was to make sure that Reilly did nothing improper. Rather, Rumberger found that Carter helped orchestrate the payouts despite other employees raising concerns. Fernandez hired Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell after becoming aware of the questionable activity.

To see local media coverage on the situation go to
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