Yesterday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors took a step towards challenging the decision of the Board of Supervisors in 2001 to grant an additional 1% of salary per year of service to the pension calculation for public safety officers.Ã‚Â The constitutional challenge, proposed by Supervisor Moorlach, affects both Deputy SheriffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and District Attorney Investigators in Orange County.Ã‚Â While the decision to move forward was unanimous, the future of MoorlachÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s proposal is far from decided. Staff has been asked to return with a plan and additional information including an opinion from neutral constitutional experts as to the validity and possible success of the proposed challenge.
In addition to objections from the Association of Orange County Deputy SheriffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, Sheriff Mike Corona had some of the harshest criticism of the proposal.Ã‚Â In his comments to the Board, Sheriff Corona made it clear that Supervisor Moorlach misled hi regarding his intentions and the status of his proposal.Ã‚Â Corona indicated that in a meeting on June 17th Moorlach and his Chief of Staff Mario Mainero told him that they had concerns, were investigating options and requested that he not reveal those discussions because they were only preliminary. Corona was surprised and blindsided by the press conference held three days later on July 20th, when Moorlach announced his plan. Suggesting more moderate action Sheriff Carona told Supervisors:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Why youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re jumping to this nuclear approach Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ speaks volumes to the employees of this county,Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â Ã‚Â This Ã¢â‚¬Å“is the most draconian of any of the options I can think of,”
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas eloquently explained that while the arguments presented by Moorlach and his staff appeared to be valid, the example given were far from conclusive and urged the Supervisors to hire an independent constitutional-law expert to provide an unbiased analysis before proceeding.
I hope that with the addition of unbiased analysis to the mix that the Board realizes that action by them is unwarranted and too risky of an endeavor to be paid for with taxpayer funds.
Martin Wisckol reports today in the Orange County Register that:
MoorlachÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s assault on the deputiesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ pension is the latest in the battle between the supervisor and employee unions Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and it increased tension between the supervisor and Carona.
He (Corona) cited MoorlachÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s proposed oversight board for the SheriffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Department, a plan under development. He also cited suggestions that the Harbor Patrol be removed from the sheriffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s authority, although that idea predated MoorlachÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s election to the board last year.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Unfortunately, I think Mr. Moorlach has a personal vendetta here,Ã¢â‚¬Â Carona said.