Will County of Orange spend another $2 million battling retirees?

Moorlach blows $2 million

After reportedly spending nearly $2 million of taxpayer dollars to basically sue itself on the issue of the enhanced retirement benefits the Board of Supervisors approved several years ago for Sheriff’s Deputies and other safety employees of the County of Orange, the Board was poised on Tuesday to go into closed session to vote on whether to appeal their case. It seems the first court to hear the lawsuit threw it out, and the Board was faced with the dilemma of doubling down on the $2 million in legal expenses incurred to date and file an appeal, or not.

The Register editorialized on August 4 that the Board should vote to pursue the appeal, even though several law firms have advised the Board that they do not have a case. This itself is an interesting juxtaposition for a newspaper that is usually attacking government for a lack of frugality when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars, but what the heck – this is about showing one or more public employee unions who is boss, isn’t it?

On August 4 the Supervisors went into closed session to consider several legal matters, including whether or not to file an appeal on this lawsuit. Almost two hours after going into that session, the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors announced in the Supervisors hearing room that the Board was done with its closed session and that the Board “took no reportable action.” What they did or did not do is apparently a secret? Were there at least 3 votes to pursue the appeal, or not? If not, is it over? What does this silence mean? maybe it means they are like the Legislature in Sacramento – prone to pushing the tough decisions to another time.

Even if this particular retirement benefit battle is over (maybe it is, maybe it isn’t), on another front the retired employees of Orange County are pursuing an appeal on their retirement benefit reduction lawsuit against the County. You can read the County’s post on a recent court decision upholding the County’s position at the www.egov.OCgov.com web site – it is the June 25 post announcing the court’s decision supported the County’s position that the retirees’ argument was without legal merit . An update not mentioned in the County’s web site is that the retirees have decided to pursue an appeal, and a second suit – this one a class action – has been filed by several retired employees.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.