Yesterday afternoon, The Orange County Register’s Tony Saavedra followed up on the story we broke on Tuesday about the alleged reason for the lobby remodel on the fifth floor of the Board of Supervisors offices.
It appeared to be a good excuse â€” or at least a plausible one: the Orange County Board of Supervisors needed a $326,000 remodeling project to cure fire code violations in their lobby.
The expensive project came under fire last week because the board was poised to lay off 210 Social Services workers, at a savings of $30 million. More layoffs are expected in the Probation Department. Still, who could argue with a remodeling project to fix a fire hazard?
Well, the county employeesâ€™ union (with a little help from TheLiberalOC) unearthed a letter from the Santa Ana Fire Department to the board suggesting that the fire hazard argument was a ruse. The letter says the county could cure the problem by simply leaving two doors unlocked.
Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employeesâ€™ Association, called the remodeling â€œabsolute folly.â€
John Moorlach, chairman of the board of supervisors, conceded the fire safety explanation doesnâ€™t tell the whole story. Leaving the doors unlocked would fix the fire hazard, but destroy any degree of security provided by the lobby walls.
What I don’t get is what logic made Moorlach, and clearly the rest of the board, think nobody would figure out they weren’t telling the truth?
Read the rest of Saavedra’s post on the Register’s OCWatchdog Blog here.