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Trial for deputy public defender’s lawsuit against judge set for next June

The Times-Standard (Eureka) logo The Times-Standard (Eureka) 8/10/2020 Shomik Mukherjee
a group of people looking at each other: Judge Gregory Elvine-Kreis, left, motions toward attorney Rory Kalin, right, in a photo provided by Kalin that he said was taken at a boat party at Lake Shasta in May 2019. (Contributed) © Provided by The Times-Standard (Eureka) Judge Gregory Elvine-Kreis, left, motions toward attorney Rory Kalin, right, in a photo provided by Kalin that he said was taken at a boat party at Lake Shasta in May 2019. (Contributed)

A trial next June could determine the outcome of a lawsuit between a Humboldt County deputy public defender and the judge he is accusing of physical assault and religious discrimination.

Deputy public defender Rory Kalin is seeking tens of thousands of dollars in damages from Judge Gregory Elvine-Kreis over a May 2019 incident in which Kalin alleges the judge called him an anti-Semitic slur and shoved him into Lake Shasta.

On Monday, visiting Judge Ann Moorman set a trial date for June 7, 2021. She also ordered a case management conference in October, which would allow the parties to potentially pursue an “alternative dispute resolution.”

Patrik Griego, the attorney representing Elvine-Kreis, had filed a motion to compel discovery from Kalin, but both sides on Monday agreed to put the motion aside after Kalin hired a new attorney, Jonathan Hornberger, in late July.

Kalin’s previous represenation was former Eureka city attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson. Kalin did not immediately respond to a question Monday asking why he hired new counsel.

On medical leave from the county public defender’s office, Kalin filed suit earlier this year against Elvine-Kreis, saying the judge became drunk and belligerent during a boat party over Memorial Day Weekend in 2019.

Kalin alleges that Elvine-Kreis bullied him throughout the party, calling him an anti-Semitic slur, making inappropriate comments toward his wife and ultimately shoving him into the lake.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office found a different account upon investigation. A deputy with the department filed a report earlier this year declining to send charges to the county district attorney’s office.

The deputy interviewed witnesses of the incident who said Kalin laughed and “interacted happily” with the guests after the shove.

Shortly after Griego sent the documents to local media, Kalin released his own statement refuting the witnesses’ accounts and slamming the deputy’s investigation as biased.

Elvine-Kreis is continuing to hear legal matters at the county’s courthouse.

Shomik Mukherjee can be reached at 707-441-0504.

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