We received the announcement below from the Association of OC Deputy Sheriff’s who prevailed multiple times in a legal dispute with the County of Orange led by Supervisor John Moorlach. For taxpayers, Moorlach’s efforts are cost you $1.3 million on top of what the county already paid for legal services to pursue this case that was continually thrown out in favor of the union.
So much for fiscal conservatism! Here’s the release:
SANTA ANA – The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) announced today that they have reached a mediated settlement with the County of Orange regarding reimbursement for the legal fees they expended defending themselves against the County’s recently failed lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of their “3% at 50” retirement benefit that was negotiated in 2001.
Under terms of the agreement, the County will pay AOCDS $1.3 million in settlement of legal costs and fees expended by the Association in defense of the lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2008. The settlement agreement was mediated by the Honorable Howard B. Wiener, a retired Justice of the California Court of Appeal.
In February of 2009, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Helen Bendix dismissed the County’s lawsuit, ruling that their arguments lacked merit to warrant a trial. The County of Orange appealed that decision to the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal, which unanimously affirmed the lower court’s decision. The County was also unsuccessful in its effort to appeal to the California Supreme Court, which unanimously denied the County’s petition for review.
Since unfunded liability is the watchword of the day in Republican circles, here’s a simple way to view it. You carry a mortgage on your house. You owe $200,000 on it and it will be paid off in 10 years. You work, get paid, make your mortgage payment monthly. If the bank suddenly decides they want the entire balance on your mortgage now, that’s an unfunded liability. While pensions are a little more complex, it’s the same premise.
Be sure to ask Supervisor Moorlach about his pension, which he could have opted out of after his last election.
AOCDS President Tom Dominguez, although satisfied with the agreement, stated, “No one is ever completely satisfied with the final outcome in such matters.” “The courts have ruled, however, and with this agreement, we consider the matter officially closed. It is now time for the AOCDS and the County of Orange to move forward and direct our time, resources, and energy to doing what we do best: providing the most efficient and highest quality public safety services possible for the residents of Orange County.”