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On The Agenda This Week…


A few items on the Agenda for the Tuesday, March 3, 2009 meeting of the Orange County Board of Supervisors have raised my interest.

First we have:

36. Revised Title to read: County Executive Office – Response to 2/10/09 Board Directive regarding HOA Security Services – All Districts  Receive and file proposal from Santa Ana for Security Services for Hall of Administration; direct County Executive Officer to prepare agreements as needed and return to the Board (Board Directive 1/27/09 and 2/10/09) – All Districts

This is the response to the directive from the Board, at Supervisor Norby’s request, to get a sole-source bid from the City of Santa Ana to provide security services at the Hall of Administration, and the Hall of Finance and Records in the Civic Center. This proposal was sought because Supervisor Norby is irked over the Sheriff not bowing to his Eminence.

Then we have:

37. Office of the Performance Audit Director – Receive and file Performance Audit of HCA/Correctional Medical Services report; and direct Office of the Performance Audit Director to follow-up with Health Care Agency and Sheriff-Coroner Department after one year to evaluate progress in implementing audit recommendations and return to the Board with status report – All Districts

This item has been suspiciously continued until the March 10th meeting. The report, which was released last week, raises serious concerns over the Orange County Health Care Agency’s administration of health care services at the county jails. Among the problems cited, $10 million in unaccounted for contract expenditures. The Board has been on hiatus for the past couple of weeks so maybe it has been deferred because they haven’t had time to read the report. Or maybe, they want to give the Health Care Agency another week to spin up an excuse for their continued failure to accomplish the most fundamental of tasks, managing and monitoring contracts. Oh but wait, HCA did have time to spin a response, so what is the reason for continuing this item till next week?

Then there is this item scheduled for closed session:

CS-1. CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – EXISTING LITIGATION – Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(a):

Name of Case:    County of Orange, etc. v. Board of Retirement of the Orange County Employees Retirement System, etc., Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC 389758

This is regarding the frivolous lawsuit the Board filed last year at the urging of then Chairman John Moorlach’s Chief of Staff Mario Mainero. This legal genius convinced the Board to try to sue to overturn the retroactive portion of Deputy Sheriff Pensions approved by the Board in 2001. In spite of several legal opinions telling them that their case was unlikely to prevail, Mainero convinced the Board that they had a real good shot at saving hundreds of millions of dollars if they could get the agreement reversed on constitutional grounds.

Last week the judge threw out their case before trial for being without merit. So I wonder whether or not the legal geniuses on the Board will decide to appeal, wasting even more than the $1.5 million in legal costs? Where are the Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse when you need them?


  1. Chris Prevatt Chris Prevatt Post author | March 2, 2009

    On February 27th John Moorlach sent out an email update regarding the decision of Judge Bendix to throw out the County’s case seeking to roll back Deputy Sheriff Pensions.

    One of our loyal readers was kind enough to forward the email to me. I note the following paragraph from his message:

    We knew that whoever lost in this first round would elevate it to the next level, the Appellate Court. Indeed, historically, it has been rare for a trial court to sustain a challenge to an entrenched system, and only when a case reaches the highest level has that system been stricken down. For example, the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education did not prevail until the U.S. Supreme Court. Should they have abandoned their attack on the insidious systematic and racist school segregation policy prevalent in the mid-50’s United States just because one trial judge ruled against them? There are many such examples that we could cite. For this reason as well, we believe we must continue our pursuit of constitutional justice.

    The reader asked…

    Does this mean the Deputies are the equivalent of southern segregationists? I had no idea there were civil rights issues involved.

    One other major difference here, Brown did not have a government entity funding the lawsuit with a blank check written from the taxpayers account.

  2. Sharon Sharon March 3, 2009

    I hope the remaining supervisors squash this appeal. If they don’t, they are all shameful and wasteful. By the way Moorlach, use your hands free Bluetooth while driving. I spotted yakking on your cell phone at Macarthur and Fairview. No one is above the law.

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