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KTVL, weatherman trial postponed until July

A cloudy legal case will linger longer for a popular weatherman who's suing the Medford television station that fired him.

It will be summer, at least, before the civil trial of Jon Galfano, a former weathercaster who claims he was wrongfully terminated from KTVL Channel 10.

A trial set to begin Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court has been postponed until July 15, records showed.

The delay was caused in part by the reluctance of lawyers for KTVL and its parent company, Freedom Broadcasting of Oregon, to provide employment records that Galfano's lawyer wanted.

This is really just the basic stuff you'd expect you'd have to produce, said Galfano's lawyer, Tom Howser of Ashland.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Dan Harris last week ordered KTVL to release records for 20 current and former employees. They include former and current on-air personalities Matt Conens, Brian May, Gayle Mitchell, Jeff Palmer and Brian Ojima, as well as Galfano's successor, Kevin Lollis. They also include records for Susan Kelley, KTVL's station manager and vice president.

The records include documentation of disciplinary action and any workplace complaints about or by Galfano, court papers showed.

Galfano, 50, is seeking &

36;339,500 in back pay, legal fees and damages, as well as reinstatement to his former job. He claims that officials at KTVL breached a contract by firing him without notice and without cause on Aug. 24, 2001, just a week after a new two-year agreement was signed.

The new agreement granted him another year's employment and an increase in his &

36;38,500 annual salary.

Neither Kelley nor the lawyer for the station, Lewis Dahlin of Medford, returned calls seeking comment Monday.

Galfano said Kelley told him that his firing was sparked by complaints from sources she wouldn't identify. Court documents indicate that that employee was an outgoing intern.

Galfano charged that Kelley had fired several employees without cause since she took over management of KTVL in 1999.

That place has more turnover than a pancake joint, Howser said.

Kelley has said the station's employee turnover has not been excessive.

Since he lost his job, Galfano has been working as a musician at local restaurants and other venues.

Reach reporter JoNel Aleccia at 776-4465, or e-mail