UPDATED: Rodenhuis Will Get To Run For Treasurer-Tax Collector!

Keith Rodenhuis

UPDATED:Judge Sanders ruled this morning in favor of Deputy Treasurer Keith Rodenhuis. Tossing aside all claims of the plaintiff Shari Freidenrich, Sanders ruled that Rodenhuis meets the qualifications to run for the office of county Treasurer-Tax Collector. Sanders decision places Rodenhuis in a strong position for the seat being vacated by his boss Chriss Street because Rodenhuis will be able to use the title of Deputy Treasurer on the ballot. Rodenhuis told me via email:

“I am happy, but not surprised by the decision. The suit was frivolous and a waste of the court’s time and the taxpayer’s money,” Rodenhuis said. “This is not the kind of leadership Orange County wants or needs in a time of fiscal stress.”

The political question of the week is: Will Deputy Treasurer-Tax Collector Keith Rodenhuis be able to run for the office of County Treasurer-Tax Collector? Superior Court Judge Glenda Sanders held a trial Monday regarding a challenge to the candidacy of Rodenhuis, brought by his opponent Huntington Beach Treasurer Shari Freidenrich, over his eligibility.

The OC Register’s Jennifer Muir gives us a good rundown of Monday’s trial in her Total Buzz article: Street’s credibility questioned at treasurer ballot hearing

A hearing to decide whether Keith Rodenhuis is qualified to run for county treasurer concluded Monday, and the outcome may hinge on the credibility of his boss, current county Treasurer-Tax Collector Chriss Street.

At issue is whether Rodenhuis, the department’s deputy treasurer and Street’s spokesman, meets the legal qualifications to run for the countywide office. If a judge finds against Rodenhuis, he’ll be kicked off the ballot, but if he wins, he’ll have a superior court judge affirming his credentials.

John Moorlach

Rodenhuis subpoenaed Supervisor John Moorlach to testify. The Supervisor had to sit there through most of the day until he was dismissed at about 3:25 p.m. according to Muir. I’m guessing Rodenhuis’s attorney Phil Greer decided he didn’t really care what Moorlach had to say. Kind of fun that he had to waste his entire day waiting in a court room for a call to testify that never came.

Muir continues:

But Bruce Peotter (Freidenrich’s attorney) said that claiming Rodenhuis is a senior manager is “revisionists history,” and he provided stacks of meeting agendas and phone directories and statements from former staffers to support his point. He also believes (Chief Assistant Treasurer) Gorman’s testimony contradicts Rodenhuis and Street, an argument that didn’t appear to persuade Superior Court Judge Glenda Sanders.

“You’re asking me to set aside testimony of Mr. Street?” Sanders asked.

“Right,” Peotter said.

“Certainly there are issues that would cause me to question the accuracy of the assertion of Mr. Rodenhuis being second in command, but Mr. Street was not shown to be wrong or inaccurate in any way before me,” Sanders said.

Later, Sanders said that in order to find Rodenhuis was not always a senior financial manager within the department, “I would have to find that Mr. Street was just not telling the truth.”

Judge Sanders will issue her ruling Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. We will let you know the decision as soon as we hear.

You can read Muir’s complete story here. She has got some more interesting details and promises to have “more outtakes from the hearing,” so keep checking back.