I don't know if any readers here saw what I posted on Virtual Mirage yesterday, "PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNION FIGHTS BACK" In that piece, we saw a county government intent on taking pension benefits (33% reduction) retroactively from deputy sheriffs who had retired as long as eleven years before. In some situations they would be taking that percentage from widows/widowers living on 50% of pension leaving them with just about enough to buy dog food in case lots from Costco to see to their nutrition needs.
Two trial courts dismissed the lawsuit, the Third District Court of Appeals ruled against the County unanimously and the California Supreme Court ruled against them 6-0. (COUNTY OF ORANGE v. ASSOCIATION OF ORANGE COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFFS et al., Case #S191218) The members of the both appellate bodies are Republicans.
Today, the Orange County Retirement System Newsletter, At Your Service (Volume 10 Number 2 Magazine for all Members April 2011), reported:
"OCERS earned an investment return of 11.70% for the year ended December 31, 2010. Assets increased over the previous year by more than $900 million."
They netted 18.52% return on investment in 2009 and the retirement portfolio is at an all time high of about $8.7 billion as of January 31, 2011. For more on OCERS' investments and profit, visit www.ocers.org and click on Finance & Investments. The retirement system is adjudged to be healthy enough by the Board of Directors that they announced discretionary cost of living adjustment benefits to membership.
Egotistical Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach
This begs the question of right and wrong. The rule of law clearly favors the Deputy Sheriff's Union. The County's pension system (separate from the California Public Employees' Pension System) is doing well, and nowhere did County Supervisor John Moorlach (the prime mover in this scandal) suggest any criminal wrongdoing on the part of county workers or the deputy sheriffs.
County Supervisors ex-post facto decided to strip pension benefits from people who earned them and paid for them in an attempt to generate revenue. In so doing, Supervisor John Moorlach and his cronies will have racked up over $5 million in legal fees by the time the dust settles.