OC Board of Supes, wasting more money.

Last week Peggy Lowe of the Orange County Register reported on the independent legal analysis of Chicken Little Moorlach’s proposed legal challenge to the 2002 increase in Deputy Sheriff pension benefit [O.C. pension plan won’t prevail].  Peggy’s story focused on an analysis of the independent attorney hired by the Board to review the merits of the proposed challenge. In the analysis, attorney Richard A. Derevan said key arguments cited as the foundation of a possible suit have never been supported by state courts. Derevan said that courts would be reluctant to take away benefits already being received by the deputies..

Today we learn that the Board of Supervisors want their memo back. There are several cliché’s that come to mind here.

  • Why are you crying over spilt milk?
  • This is water under the bridge.
  • The cat’s already out of the bag.

As Martin Wisckol at the Register reports: An attorney for county supervisors is challenging the Orange County Register over a leaked document, claiming it was improperly disclosed and should be returned.

County Supervisor John Moorlach said that public disclosure of the memo violates attorney-client privilege. He said disclosure of the memo could undermine the legal challenge because it provides information to the deputies’ legal team.

“When you’re working with an attorney and it involves possible litigation – why would I want that (information) released?” said Moorlach, whose office proposed the legal strategy for challenging the deputies’ pension. Moorlach’s chief of staff, Mario Mainero, has dismissed Derevan’s analysis.

The letter to the Register from Assistant County Counsel Barbara Stocker does not allege illegal activity by the newspaper, but Stocker said the memo is protected by attorney-client privilege. The sole remedy requested is that the memo and any copies of it be returned.

“We’re asking for it back as a matter of policy, not because (its return) serves a particularly practical purpose,” said Chris Norby, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “We want (the Register) to know that it’s improper and to let whomever leaked it know that we’ll try to protect our attorney-client privilege.”


Wisckol reports that Register Editor Ken Brusic defended the use of the document.

“Our position is that we obtained the memo legally,” he said. “It’s a matter of wide public interest … and we have an obligation to inform the public.”  Brusic said the Register does not intend to return the memo – and that its return would serve no purpose at this point.

“The information is out there,” he said. “We’ve published it. The horse is out of the barn.”

You’ve got to love the creativity of these nut-jobs on the BOS.  They are spending their attorney’s time on demanding a memo back from the Register after the content has already been disclosed.  What a waste of time and money.

Last week, after the memo was released, it was reported that the Board might consider the appointment of a County Ethics Officer; another waste of money.  An Ethics Officer reporting to a group of people who have no interest in ethics? Yeah, that would accomplish what exactly?

I have a suggestion for Register Editor Ken Brusic.  Post the entire memo on your website.  At that point the information would be so widely distributed that the return of the document would be even more useless.  If he is resistant to posting it on the OC Register site, send me a copy, I’ll make sure it gets out there with the appropriate attribution. 

  2 comments for “OC Board of Supes, wasting more money.

  1. Kat
    September 25, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Well Supervisor Chris Norby , John Moorlach and any other elected county supervisor, As a voter and taxpayer in Orange County, I am a plaintiff in this lawsuit and I don’t have a problem with this memo being made public or any other memo for that matter. I want to know EVERYTHING about it! .What I do have a problem with is that the BOS have closed meeting sessions and give themselves more benefits behind our backs. Hooray for Peggy! I am hoping Peggy publishes the legal and attorney fees of this proposal as they accrue over the months and years ahead.

  2. plaintiff too
    September 25, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Moorlach states, “Disclosure of the memo could undermine the legal challenge because it provides information to deputies’ legal team.” How does the release of this memo undermine the legal challenge? The only thing it undermines is Moorlach’s reputation as a leader. Were we fooled or what? Is Moorlach is grasping at straws here? The more press he gets like this the more damage he does to his reputation in the eyes of the voters.

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