Moorlach’s Defeat – The Charge of the Light Headed Brigade

OC Supervisor John Moorlach - Photo: Chris Prevatt

On February 1, 2008, led by the Supervisor John Moorlach and inspired by the dancing of his court jester Mario Mainero, the County of Orange filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the retroactive portion of a pension increase that had been granted to many County peace officers effective June 2002. The County alleged that the grant of the retroactive pension increase violated the California Constitution.

In February 2009, Judge Helen Bendix ruled against the County and threw out their lawsuit. Undeterred by a finding that their was no basis for their case, the Board of Supervisors appealed the ruling by a 3-2 vote. On January 26, 2011, the Court of Appeals ruled against the Moorlach and the board. Unfazed, Moorlach convinced three of his colleagues to appeal their case to the California Supreme Court.

Yesterday, in a 6-0 ruling the California Supreme Court decided in favor of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriff’s (AOCDS). In a statement issued after the decision AOCDS President Wayne Quint said:

“John Moorlach and Mario Mainero owe the taxpayers of Orange County a formal apology.  They have spent over $2.5 million in public funds on a political vendetta that their own attorneys told them right from the beginning they could not win.”

“The Deputy Sheriffs Association now plans to file in court for complete payment of our four years worth of attorneys fees for this frivolous, mean spirited lawsuit.  By the time everything is over, the vindictive political judgment of John Moorlach and Mario Mainero will have cost the County a tremendous amount of time and money.  It is both sad and unfortunate — and a textbook example of abuse of our legal system.”

The Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava by William Simpson (1855), illustrating the Light Brigade's charge into the "Valley of Death" from the Russian perspective.

This final Battle of Pension Bluff, can be compared to the misguided Charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854 in the Crimean War. The charge was the result of a miscommunication in such a way that the brigade attempted a much more difficult objective than intended. The charge produced no decisive gains and resulted in very high casualties, and is best remembered as the subject of the poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, whose lines emphasize the valour of the cavalry in carrying out their orders, even “tho’ the soldier knew/Some one had blunder’d”.

I have adapted Tennyson’s poem to reflect the glory of the Battle of Pension Bluff.

Charge of the Light Headed Brigade

Half a step, half a step,
Half a step onward,
All on the mesa of Pension Bluff
Rode the four Supervisors.
‘Forward, the Light Headed Brigade!
Charge for the pension liability he said:
Onto the Mesa of Pension Bluff
Rode the Four Supervisors.

‘Forward, the Light Headed Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldiers knew
Moorlach had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Onto the Mesa of Pension Bluff
Rode the Four Supervisors.

Facts to the right of them,
Facts to the left of them,
Facts in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with truth and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Failure,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the Four Supervisors.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;

Facts to right of them,
Facts to left of them,
Facts behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Failure,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of Four.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Headed Brigade,
Noble Four!

Thanks John!

  4 comments for “Moorlach’s Defeat – The Charge of the Light Headed Brigade

  1. junior
    April 14, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Moorlach says:

    “I’m just back from a tour of the Dayle McIntosh Center for the disabled. It is programs like these that will suffer in order for the taxpayers to pay for a fifty percent increase in pension benefits for government employees who paid nothing for them and for which no funds were set aside during their careers prior to the effective date.”

    Chris – Does that sound like a good outcome to you?

    • Believe Moorlach at your own risk
      April 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      The pension cost represents 5 percent of the total general fund budget for the County of Orange.

      Moorlach’s spam is filled with lies; mis-statements and intentional deceipt and the Register will let it go as fact.

    • Don Draper
      April 14, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      Are you kidding me Mr. Moorlach?! I’ll bet the Dayle McIntosh Center could’ve used the $5,000,000 you will have wasted on a losing effort. Yes it would have been nice if you had more money to give to worthy causes but that’s not the point. The point is that you wasted millions on a cause that was lost BEFORE you started. Your hubris and desire to play to the Lincoln Club led you down this path of folly. Your attempt to deflect by pointing at the disable is shameful and only heightens the disdain that this effort will cast upon you.

  2. L.M.J.
    April 15, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Mr. Moorlach should have to foot the bill for his ridiculous lawsuit. Why should the taxpayers pay for this political posturing?

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