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What Dragging Out The Inevitable Looks Like

I got another update from Wayne Quint over at the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) about the pension lawsuit. It further clarifys the way things are being delayed by the County or their attorneys. I’m really not sure who exactly is behind the delay but my money is on Chicken Little Moorlach.

The End Is NearDecember 3, 2008

The County’s frivolous and costly lawsuit to cut the pension checks of AOCDS retirees is on its way to trial. AOCDS, Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) and the Court originally believed that this lawsuit could be tried on agreed facts (without a parade of witnesses and a jury). The County and its lawyers also originally agreed that this lawsuit could be tried efficiently and inexpensively on agreed upon facts. Sadly, after months of negotiations and hours before submitting the facts to the Court, the County reneged on all the agreed upon facts. The trial will now begin in April 29, 2009. 

At the hearing on November 18th, Judge Helen Bendix was clearly irritated with what we believe are the County’s delaying tactics. Judge Bendix said the following: 

  • “I don’t have a single stipulated fact.  That’s ridiculous in a case like this.”
  • Your client [Orange County] won’t let you agree to any facts, even if they’re silly?”
  • “What kind of client control do you have?”
  • “You’re telling me you need the County’s permission basically to blow your nose.”

Judge Bendix also said things along the lines of the following — the County should be able to agree on things like who was on the Board of Supervisors at the time the benefit was adopted and who was the AOCDS representative in the negotiations for 3% @ 50. Unfortunately, the County refuses to agree on even these obvious facts.

You may recall, AOCDS intervened in the lawsuit in March 2008 to answer the County’s claims and press its own claims so as to stop any more County attacks on our pensions. Shortly after it was filed, the lawsuit was transferred out of OC to LA Superior Court and assigned to Judge Helen I. Bendix. She immediately held three hearings to move the case along.

At every chance, AOCDS’s lawyers told Judge Bendix that AOCDS wants this case to be tried right away. She understands that and has said so. She also sees how important this case is statewide, and so she examines all the issues closely and carefully.

Way to go Moorlach!AOCDS and its lawyers continue to vigorously oppose the County’s frivolous and costly efforts to renege on its obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding. The Los Angeles Times has reported that “Orange County plans to set aside $2.75 million in the coming fiscal year to pay for legal battles, including its lawsuit to roll back sheriff’s deputies’ pensions.” The County’s legal bills for this frivolous lawsuit are already more than $1 million. The County’s taxpayers deserve better than to have millions of their hard-earned dollars spent on the Board of Supervisors’ politically motivated attempt to strip the deputy sheriffs of their bargained-for and legally earned pensions.

The leadership of AOCDS continues to go to other organizations around the state to make sure that everyone knows about the statewide importance of this lawsuit. These organizations have been extremely supportive.  AOCDS wants to especially thank the following organizations and individuals for their support:

  • Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs
  • California Correctional Peace Officers Association
  • Orange County Employees Association
  • Association of County Law Enforcement Managers
  • Pechanga Band of Mission Indians
  • Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association
  • Sacramento Deputy Sheriffs Association
  • California Association of Highway Patrolman
  • Santa Ana Police Officers Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police, California State Lodge
  • Orange County Attorneys Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #1, Los Angeles County ~
  • Long Beach Police Officers Association
  • San Bernardino County Employees Benefit Association
  • Orange County Professional Firefighters Association
  • Anaheim Police Association
  • California School Employees Association
  • State Coalition of Probation Organizations
  • California District Attorney Investigators Association
  • California State Law Enforcement Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police, Western States Association
  • Sacramento Law Enforcement Manager’s Association
  • San Francisco Police Officers Association
  • Los Angeles School Police Association
  • Deputy Sheriffs Association of Santa Clara County
  • Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge # 5, Irvine
  • Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association
  • Southern California Alliance of Law Enforcement
  • Torrance Police Officers Association
  • Santa Barbara Police Officers Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police Louisiana State Lodge
  • Sonoma County Deputy Sheriffs Association  
  • Bonnie Dumanis, District Attorney of San Diego County
  • North Dakota Fraternal Order of Police
  • Kansas State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police
  • South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police
  • Santa Clara County Park Rangers Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police, San Diego County, Lodge#10.