Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Appellate Court Throws Out OC Lawsuit On Sheriff's Pensions

COUNTY SUIT ON SHERIFF'S PENSIONS IS TOSSED - AGAIN
Late Wednesday afternoon I received a press release from the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs announcing rejection of a lawsuit filed by the County of Orange against the Association attempting to overturn the 3% at 50 pension plan.


LEGAL FEES ALSO PRESENTED

The press release also quantified the legal costs incurred by the County of Orange waging this lawsuit.

HOW WILL RIGHEIMER REACT TO THE NEWS?

I find myself wondering just how this information will affect Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer's assault on our municipal employees wage and pension plans. Will he harden his already granite-like position? Based on recent public comments he seems unwilling to let facts get in the way of his agenda. During a recent council meeting he refused to be impressed with the fact that our fiscal situation is not as bad as anticipated. Instead, he told the staff that he wanted them to come up with $15 million dollars for road repairs in the next budget. Of course, there is only one place to get that money - from staff costs.

The press release follows:

FOR MORE INFORMATION: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
George Urch (714) 464-9125 (Cell) January 26, 2011

APPELLATE COURT THROWS OUT

COUNTY OF ORANGE LAWSUIT REGARDING DEPUTY SHERIFF PENSION ISSUE

After An Extremely Short Deliberation, The County Of Orange’s Legal Effort

To Overturn 3% At 50 Pension Benefit For Orange County Deputies

Is Thrown Out Of Court A Third Time


LOS ANGELES – The Second District Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed in a 3 to 0

opinion today, to uphold an earlier judgment by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, to

throw out the County of Orange’s lawsuit to overturn 3% at 50 pension benefits for Orange

County Deputy Sheriffs (COUNTY OF ORANGE v. ASSOCIATION OF ORANGE COUNTY

DEPUTY SHERIFFS et al., Case #B218660). After an extremely quick 7 days of

deliberation, the court also awarded the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs

(AOCDS) their costs for the appeal.


The decision marks the third time in 2 years the County of Orange has been rejected by

the courts in their legal effort to overturn 3% at 50 pension benefits for Orange County Deputy

Sheriffs. They were quickly tossed out of Los Angeles Superior Court last February 26 and

again on May 22, before even being set for a formal hearing.



The County of Orange filed the controversial lawsuit in February 2008, despite having three

different outside law firms they had hired for legal counsel, warn them they could not win

such a case. As of July 31, 2010, they have spent almost $2.3 million on their legal costs.



“After three strikes, the County is out,” said Wayne Quint, President of the Association of

Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS). “We hope the Orange County Board of

Supervisors now come to their senses and realize what we, and their attorneys, told them

four years ago -- they are wrong on the facts and wrong on the law on this one. They

can’t win. They have been told this by three different law firms and four judges in two

different courts. If they don’t realize it at this point, they are in major denial. How much

more apparent can it be that they have no legal argument?”

#####

COUNTY OF ORANGE LEGAL COSTS FOR DEPUTY SHERIFF PENSION LITIGATION

As of July 31, 2010, the County of Orange has spent a total of $2,264,166.34 in legal costs associated

with the Board of Supervisors’ litigation effort regarding Orange County Deputy Sheriffs’ pensions.

Law Firm - Amount Paid

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP - $ 99,598.40

(Jan. 1, 2006 to Dec. 1, 2007)

Reish Luftman Reicher & Cohen - $125,561.04

(Jan. 1, 2007 to Dec. 1, 2007)

Snell & Wilmer LLP - $ 57,713.00

(June 30, 2007 to Dec. 1, 2007)

Kirkland & Ellis LLP - $1,981,293.90

(June 1, 2007 to July 31, 2010)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL LITIGATION COSTS BY COUNTY $2,264,166.34

Kirkland & Ellis Billings

$ 138,461.10 (October 2007)

$ 82,753.25 (November 2007)

$ 60,004.56 (December 2007)

$ 106,538.09 (January 2008)

$ 38,202.72 (February 2008)

$ 133,317.84 (March & April 2008)

$ 65,123.57 (May 2008)

$ 95,405.18 (June 2008)

$ 61,424.67 (July 2008)

$ 21,231.07 (August 2008)

$ 52,559.88 (September 2008)

$ 51,877.56 (October 2008)

$ 72,609.49 (November 2008)

$ 80,938.84 (December 2008)

$ 228,109.14 (January 2009)

$ 155,873.17 (February 2009)

$ 104,559.92 (March 2009)

$ 76,968.04 (April 2009)

$ 67,903.31 (May 2009)

$ 12,057.65 (June 2009)

$ 37,561.93 (July 2009)

$ 19,462.68 (August 2009)

$ 25,910.49 (September 2009)

$ 5,762.87 (October 2009)

$ 5,063.05 (November 2009)

$ 110,448.35 (Dec. 2009 & Jan. and Feb. 2010)

$ 4,640.30 (March 2010)

$ 1,920.45 (April 2010)

$ 20,469.75 (May 2010)

$ 24,322.13 (June 2010)

$ 19,812.85 (July 2010)

$1,981,293.90 (October 2007 – July 2010)

* As per records provided by the County of Orange County Counsel’s office

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Brumbaugh, Shaw & Galitski Depart

COMMISSION MAJORITY BOOTED
Tonight is the fi
nal Parks and Recreation Commission for three of it's members, Chairman Mike Brumbaugh, Vice-Chair Terry Shaw and former Chair Kurt Galitski. Despite each of them requesting to be returned to the commission, the new City Council decided to push them aside and appoint new players.

SCHAFER TO RECEIVE AWARD

At the meeting tonight beginning at 6:00 p.m. in City Council chambers the commission will address some fairly important issues. They'll begin,
however, by bestowing the Chairperson's Award on long-time community activist Arlene Schafer. We only hope they corrected the spelling of her surname on the award because it's misspelled on the agenda report.

INCREASED FEES
The commission will then tackle fee increase issues - the Aquatics Program and Instructional Class Fees. None of these will be popular, but they are a direct result of our dismal budget dilemma and are apparently necessary in order to save many of the programs.

MORE MEATY
ISSUES
Following a couple tree removal requests they will address Rest and Renovation Periods for Utility Fields at Costa Mesa High School and Estancia High School; the Athletic Field Use and Allocation Policy and the Recreation on Campus for Kids (ROCKS) After School Program Fee.

COULD BE CONTROVERSIAL
It seems to me this outgoing majority on the commission will have some pretty tough decisions for their last meeting - some of which might evoke heated comments by residents. We'
ll see.

THANKS
We here at A Bubbling Cauldron want to join the community in thanking Brumbaugh, Shaw and Galitski for their service to the city. The new members will be sworn-in next week so they can begin receiving materials for the next meeting, which is not until March.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Hubbard Goes To Trial, Placed On Leave

HUBBARD AND CHRISTIANSEN TO GO TO TRIAL
According to reports in the Orange County Register and the Daily Pilot, late this afternoon Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathryn Solorzano has concluded that there is enough evidence to warrant a criminal trial for Newport Mesa Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard and his former employee at the Beverly Hills School District, Karen Anne Christiansen.

TWO FELONY COUNTS
Hubbard is accused of providing a $20,000 stipend for Christiansen and raising her car allowance from $150 per month to $500, both without school board knowledge or approval. He pleaded not guilty on January 3rd to the two felony counts.

NMUSD BOARD AGREES TO HUBBARD LEAVE

At it's meeting tonight the Trustees of the NMUSD placed Hubbard on paid administrative leave effective today. According to Britney B
arnes in the Daily Pilot this evening, the board voted 6-1 to approve Hubbard's request for leave. Katrina Foley voted no.

MOVING FORWARD
This case is far from over, but at least the actions taken today will permit the school district to move forward - and permit Hubbard to focus on his case.

WH
AT ABOUT THE NEWPORT INDY?
As an aside, I find it extremely curious that the Newport Beach Independent, a relatively new publication that focuses on all issues involving Newport Beach and published by former Daily Pilot publisher, Tom Johnson, has not printed a single word about this situation - not one! Certainly, this is a newsworthy issue in Newport Beach, right? How do we explain that absence of coverage? I don't expect any news source to cover every single story in it's reporting area, but this one is BIG. But, there is only a void - not even a link to other media outlets. Very curious, indeed.

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I'm Baaaack!

TOOK MY OWN ADVICE
"Where have you been, Potstirrer?" you ask. Well, you will recall, on December 26, 2010 (HERE) I gave you a heads-up for a wonderful experience viewing Northern Elephant Seals on our glorious Central California Coast. Last weekend I took my own advice, convinced my lovely and patient wife to join me and visited that roo
kery, which is in Prime Time again. And, as an added bonus, it's a wonderful way to flush local politics out of your mind for a few days - reason enough to make the trip!
A GREAT EXPERIENCE!

As you can see from the photos included, there are thousands of seals on the beach, i
ncluding hundreds of pups (at least) born within the past few days.

A GREAT TIME GUARANTEED
If you take a weekend and make a run up to this site - about 4 miles above Hea
rst Castle and approximately 280 miles from Costa Mesa - I guarantee you'll have the experience of a lifetime!

You'll see females nursing their new pups or just snoozing in the sun...

You'll see males fighting for dominance of his harem - anywhere from 10 to 50 females
...
You'll see seagulls cleaning up the beach - they go after the placenta...

You'll see pups in jeopardy of being crushed by amorous males...
You'll see
"amore'" on the beach...
And you'll see the dominant males staying ever-alert for interlopers.

INEXPENSIVE FUN

All this costs you is a couple tankfuls of gas and a weekend. If you combine it with a trip to Hearst Castle, it will be an even more memorable weekend. Any time between the middle of December through the first couple weeks of March is great for viewing these magnificent critters, but I always tell folks that Valentine's weekend is a good time because it's so inspirational - there's a whole lot of lovin' going on down on the beach then.

ACCOMMODATIONS ABOUND

There are plenty of rooms available in Cambria and San Simeon and lots of great restaurants and shops, too. Beach-side rooms, romantic walks on the beach, great food....

PICK A DATE AND DRIVE!

So, target a weekend between now and the end of February because that's when the "action" is at it's best, with birthing, fighting and mating going on simultaneously. This colony of elephant seals is the fasted growing such group in the world and, by far, the most accessible... you can step out of your car and take 10 steps to view them.

FOR MORE INFORMATION...

For more in-depth information visit the web site for this location at www.elephantseal.org.

Have fun!

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