Cornered Animal Watch: Serrano Appeal DENIED, must pay legal fees!



Editor here. We are breaking this story of the Superior Court’s DENIAL of Santa Ana Union Chief Gerry Serrano’s “Petition for Writ of Mandate” against CALPERS, a lawsuit launched to raise his pay. Serrano is the force behind the current attempted recall of Councilmembers Jessie Lopez and Thai Van Phan. We break this news thanks to correspondence (copied below) from SAPD Downtown Business Liaison Officer Manny Delgadillo, but the title and illustration above are from this blog.

SAPD officers who are members of the Santa Ana POA should be concerned with this endless waste of union resources on Serrano’s selfish short-sighted efforts, as Delgadillo emphasizes below. Meanwhile Santa Ana residents, particularly those in Wards 1 and 3, should refrain from signing any petitions to recall their two fine Councilwomen, no matter what lies the paid signature gatherers tell them. Councilwomen Lopez will have an op-ed out soon, arguing against the Recall, as Councilwoman Phan did last week.

Heeeere’s Manny…


from Officer Manny Delgadillo, Feb. 22, 2023

This is what happens when someone gets too full of themselves, and greed takes over common sense.

CALPERs Denied plaintiff Serrano the Petition for Writ of Mandate “DENIED” for the pay differential he was requesting first from the City of Santa Ana with a higher position with more pay and then filing a lawsuit against CALPERs. SAPOA Members start adding up the amount spent and approved supposedly by the E-Board on this failed attempt. It was not enough to get denied by Judge Berg but to continue this ludicrous fight with SAPOA Membership money. I believe this money should be paid back by the SAPOA E-Board or our SAPOA President and should be brought up at the next General Membership meeting.

Here is an excerpt from the decision:

Petitioner argues that this interpretation undermines the legislative intent of section 3558.8, but does not cite to any applicable Legislative history. The Court has reviewed the legislative history of Senate Bill 1085, and found no statement of legislative intent contrary to the Court’s interpretation as detailed above.

IV. Conclusion

The Petition for Writ of Mandate is DENIED.

So, let’s get this straight – our SAPOA paid an attorney or firm to file a lawsuit where there is no applicable legislative history. WOW! How much more money will this cost our SAPOA Membership? Has anyone heard, or have we received, an update on the new contract negotiations? The only written request we’ve seen was one to the City Manager requesting more leave hours for himself, in a letter dated December 29, 2022. (These leave hours may have also covered his fellow eBoard Members.) We simply got out-negotiated and whose fault was that?

Also, what about the money from the City of Santa Ana given to each SAPOA Member for our Health Premium or Plan? Our SAPOA lost that too, for failure to act and continue negotiations. Each SAPOA Member is given an amount that exceeds our plan and the extra money was put into our overall budget or moved. So when the City figured out that SAPOA was using the extra money to file frivolous lawsuits, attorney fees and RECALLS, well, why WOULDN’T they “defund” this? This was done legally through negotiations. Our SAPOA negotiation team failed us. But I don’t blame them, our SAPOA needs to hire a professional negotiating team. It’s hard to believe the City was fighting itself with its own money.

Furthermore, our SAPOA seems to be endearing itself with the Santa Ana community. *SARCASM* This current RECALL of two Santa Ana Council Members is going nowhere. The Santa Ana community and Orange County District Attorneys are going to look at this threatened RECALL of Council Members Jessie Lopez and Thai Phan through an electron microscope, after what happened in Buena Park:

See LA Times, February 20, 2023 – Criminal Charges Against Recall Proponents Reveal Underside of Buena Park Politics.

So this new Santa Ana RECALL will be under intense scrutiny. If this RECALL is really about rent control, as stated, why is the Santa Ana Police Officers Association spending money on it? Does our SAPOA own apartments we can’t raise the rent on? I think not.

All this SAPOA Member money spent on RECALLS, attorney fees and frivolous lawsuits, and we ended up with the worst contract ever. [I have some additional information of what was actually offered but I need to confirm.] Fighting for a higher pension or paid position was okay but even that failed. What does this tell the SAPOA Members loud and clear? Should SAPOA members continue to follow a Pied Piper of Hamelin, or should we forge a new beginning, with a new face, to lead the Association? There are people who are ready to help us.

An overwhelming consensus of SAPOA Member that are waiting for a General Membership meeting to voice numerous concerns and ask questions. The biggest question the SAPOA Members are asking is “When is Gerry Serrano leaving or resigning?” I am asked that question every day. My answer is “not soon enough.”

In closing, our SAPOA has a long road to recovery. The City of Santa Ana and Police Department will not soon forget what this current SAPOA administration has done. SAPOA Members would have preferred our medical and an eventual raise but instead we got snake eyes.

See Ruling Here


Update Friday night 2/24

Press release from City of Santa Ana, Feb. 24, 2023:

Court awards $41,651.47 in attorney’s fees and costs to City of Santa Ana
against Santa Ana POA and Gerry Serrano

Dear *** ******,

A court has ruled that the Santa Ana Police Officers Association (SAPOA) and its president, Gerry Serrano, must pay the City of Santa Ana $41,651.47 for defending against frivolous claims SAPOA and Mr. Serrano filed to silence the City of Santa Ana executive employees and stop them from doing their jobs to ensure compliance with City rules and State law.

On February 23, 2023, Orange County Superior Court Judge Lon Hurwitz granted the City’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Costs Following Special Motion to Strike. The Special Motion to Strike is a motion designed to dispose of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, known as SLAPP. The motion is filed to dismiss claims that are used to intimidate and harass individuals who are merely doing their jobs or exercising their free speech rights and that are so obviously meritless that they should be dismissed at the start of a lawsuit.

Judge Hurwitz previously granted the City of Santa Ana’s Special Motion to Strike, dismissing Mr. Serrano’s claims that the City of Santa Ana retaliated against him by requesting that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office investigate him for interfering with a criminal investigation and by communicating with CalPERS about Mr. Serrano’s pension credit for premium pays that could be seen as pension spiking. The award of $41,651.47 reimburses the City for the attorney’s fees and costs incurred to defeat those frivolous claims.

This follows Police Chief David Valentin’s similar victory on an Anti-SLAPP Motion and, in total, SAPOA and Mr. Serrano have been ordered to pay nearly $67,000 in fees and costs back to the City.

“This legal victory sends a resounding message that our judicial system will not tolerate bullies filing retaliatory lawsuits against city officials who are simply doing their job. It is unfortunate that the brave men and women who proudly serve the Santa Ana Police Department have been dragged into frivolous litigation by their leadership,” said Jeff Ranen, a partner with the law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP who represented the City of Santa Ana.

Manny Delgadillo’s Response, 2/24


First and foremost, I would like to thank our SAPOA President and E-Board for all their knowledge and wisdom in costing our association approximately $108,651.47 in attorney fees. I will never say I told you so I simply tried to inform our association SAPAO Members the road the SAPOA was not taking the correct one. (City of Santa Ana $41,651.47 – Chief $67,000)


This is a considerable amount of SAPOA Membership Money. How much more money will our SAPOA Association hemorrhage. Let this amount sink in. I guess when one sees a lot of money and it is not one’s own money it is easy it is easy to spend. So let me get this straight. Our SAPOA President can attend CAL PERs Board Meetings, donate money to politicians labeled as donations then later as for letters for his pension push, hire an attorney for his pension, request addition funds and his only request after the contract vote is for more hours as SAPOA President.

Then not seek fact finding for our contract for the allotted time and cancel a contract negotiation meeting one day before. I am no Albert Einstein but something tells me the SAPOA Membership priorities are not a priority. How much longer will SAPOA Membership tolerate this ineptness?

And from what I hear it is only the beginning. How many more lawsuits are pending? How much longer will SAPOA Members tolerate these loss? It would be different if it was their own personal money. What is our SAPOA President still doing there with these mounting losses? Cal PERs Denied, The City of Santa Ana said no. Workman’s Compensation will mostly likely say no because he has not done any police duties in 6 years. The options are running out quick.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.