L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

O.C. supervisors vote to appeal judge's rejection of pension suit against deputies' union

Orange County supervisors voted 4 to 1 in closed session today to appeal a judge's rejection of a roughly 2-year-old lawsuit against the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs that seeks to roll back increased pension plans approved in 2001.

In July, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Helen Bendix rejected Orange County’s argument that the plans violated state constitutional limits on deficit spending and were a gift of public funds because the retirement benefits were granted retroactively. It was the second time Bendix rejected the county’s suit.

Many agencies across the state are watching the case closely because it could affect their pension plans.

The supervisors' decision was “very disappointing,” said Wayne Quint, president of the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs. “They know they have no case. They’re playing politics. And when you’re sitting up there and your deep pockets are the taxpayer, you can do that.”

Supervisor Janet Nguyen was the lone vote against the appeal, which she called a gamble. She said the recent court judgments as well as the county’s dire financial picture were main factors in her decision.

“I cannot continue to put our county services in further jeopardy by expending the limited resources we have in pursuing this litigation,” Nguyen said.

But Supervisor John Moorlach, who has been a major proponent of the suit, said it’s important to see the case through because of its ultimate cost savings. He said the county’s unfunded liability is currently more than $3 billion.

“For just a little bit more we can take it to the appellate level and get some resolution. . . . This is something that would pay tremendous dividends if and when we succeed,” Moorlach said. The appeal, he said, would cost a relatively small amount of money: “It’s sort of like going from the 5-yard line to the goal line, it’s not that much."

The county estimates it would save at least $187 million in future pension costs. It has spent nearly $2 million in taxpayer money on the legal fight as of June 30, according to county records provided to the union.

--Tami Abdollah, reporting from Orange County

 
Comments () | Archives (10)

California is the chief Progressive state. They have promised everyone everything.

The coming days will HOPEFULLY teach these folks that taxpayers can no longer afford this nonsense.

They need to fire as many public employees it takes to make this feasable.

I made the decision many years ago to forego the higher salary in the private sector to avail myself of the vastly superior benefits in civil service. The pay was lower for policemen, but it certainly was respectable. And, the pension and health care benefits were second to none. We all make choices. Live with your choice and don't whine because my pension is superior to yours.

I earned that pension putting it on the line every night. It's contractual, it has long standing precedent, and the courts have held that I have a property right to my pension.

I apologize to no one for what I have earned. I feel no guilt. Life is great. These corrupt politicians looking to make a name for themselves on the backs of policemen and firemen will all go away or go to jail. It will be as if they never were. I love it.

The pay for GED educated cops and FF's is well above $100K, and that pay has been FAR superiour than ANYTHING in the real world.

The majority of these pensions were retroactive-and not earned. The public employees need to stop ripping evryone off-especially the cops and firewhiners.

Crazy Horse, Well stated!

How much is a police officer or fire fighter's life worth? After putting their lives on the line day in and day out for people that are essentially strangers, they deserve every dime of their pensions and then some. Shame on those who lack the courage to put their lives in peril at the risk of never seeing your spouse or kids again yet disrespect those that do. The next time you are in need of help call Supervisor John Moorlach, let him lay it all out there for you!

I have read seemingly hundreds of articles where Supervisor John Moorlach says he is concerned by public pensions. Yet, in none of the articles, I never see the reporter or Mr. Moorlach himself, admit that as an elected official he had the choice as to whether or not he wanted to sign up for a pension with OCERS. He did and he stands to make a huge pension. I would venture to say that he has never arrested a criminal, put out a fire or helped any member of the public.

they will lose this appeal of course....the law is dead against them at the most basic constitutional level--- these supes need to be un elected...

The oc supervisors could save millions and millions of dollars by firing arresting and charging some public funded employees of falsifying evidence --tampering with evidence from court record jury---rigging a jury trial. The scales of justice are crooked there in orange county when there are some public funded employees that undermine and corrupt the justice system. The use of false evidence and tampering with evidence to a jury is NOT public funded.

The oc supervisors could save millions and millions of dollars by firing arresting and charging some public funded employees of falsifying evidence --tampering with evidence from court record jury---rigging a jury trial. The scales of justice are crooked there in orange county when there are some public funded employees that undermine and corrupt the justice system. The use of false evidence and tampering with evidence to a jury is NOT public funded. Carry on with the appeal...there needs to be some exposure to how crooked justice is a danger to public safety.

Interesting opinions by LEO's and Firefighters here...

No one doubts the fact that you put your life on the line for complete strangers but the fact of the matter is you receive a very generous salary for that - over $1ook for a high school diploma?

Try getting that in the private sector!

And before you go off spouting your mouth about "decisions" realize that it is now the private sector that IS paying your inflated pensions. California is broke and your pension system is no longer self sustaining so YES the tax payers will now be responsible for your pension and your salary.

You want to talk about corruption?

Let's talk about city council and the legislature your union bosses PAID OFF, YES PAID OFF, to acquire those very generous pensions for you.


Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: