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View Full Version : New Allegations against Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens


RomanDad
03-24-2010, 7:10 PM
http://www.ocregister.com/news/county-240912-sheriff-hutchens.html


SANTA ANA – Seven former top officials at the Orange County Sheriff's Department filed wrongful termination claims against the county Wednesday, alleging Sheriff Sandra Hutchens lied when she said they were laid off for budgetary reasons.

The two former assistant sheriffs and five captains, including ex-Assistant Sheriffs Jack Anderson and John Davis, allege that Hutchens really laid them off because she disliked their job performance.

A performance-based termination would mean that officers should have been given hearings they were entitled to under the state's 'Peace Officers' Bill of Rights,' according to the claims.

Hutchens, who was appointed by county supervisors in 2008 and is up for election in June, announced a 40 percent reduction of her command staff last summer. She said she chose to lay off the top administrators to keep investigator positions, and that the layoffs saved the department $2.2 million as part of a $28 million plan to pare the agency's budget.

But in the claims filed Wednesday, the former employees allege their terminations did not save the county any money, and that Hutchen's command staff is now larger than before the series of layoffs.

They also say they were handpicked for the layoffs because of their more senior status, while Hutchens kept on individuals who were younger, according to the claim. They all were eligible for retirement at the time they were laid off.

"She just wanted them out and wanted her team in,'' said Joel Baruch, who is representing the former officials and who won a $333,000 judgment last year against the county for a similar wrongful-termination claim brought by ex-Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo. Jaramillo, a convicted felon, ended up having to forfeit that judgment as part of his sentence for filing a false tax return and mail fraud.

Hutchens did not respond in detail to the claims, citing pending litigation that could be filed by the ex-employees. Claims are usually filed as precursors to lawsuits.

"Given the budget cuts we have been directed to make, I feel it my duty to preserve the delivery of front-line law enforcement so that the residents of Orange County would continue to enjoy the benefit of our public safety services and not be impacted by our budget cuts,'' Hutchens said in a statement. "My budget decisions have and will always be based on what is best for the public safety needs of Orange County."

Hutchens did consult the county's human resources department and county counsel before deciding on the layoffs, according to sheriff's department spokesman Ryan Burris.

The ex-employees want the county to give them compensatory and emotional distress damages and back pay, as well as reinstatement to their positions.

Anderson, who ran the Sheriff's Department briefly in 2008 after ex-sheriff Mike Carona resigned to fight federal corruption charges, declined to comment directly about the claim, Baruch said. So did ex-Capt. Christine Murray, he added.

Murray was once was investigated for illegally soliciting campaign contributions for Carona, and had to perform community service and apologize to some potential donors as part of an agreement to dismiss criminal charges.

The four other captains who filed the claims are Catherine Zurn, Deana Bergquist, Brian Cossairt and Robert Eason.

Contact the writer: 714-834-3773 or rsrisavasdi@ocregister.com

Rusty Shackleford
03-24-2010, 7:23 PM
If she lied once, she lied when she revoked ccw's.


A jury would see this the same way.


Attorney?????

obeygiant
03-24-2010, 7:25 PM
http://www.ocregister.com/news/county-240912-sheriff-hutchens.html

eagerly awaiting the outcome of this one, i even got the :popcorn: ready.

RomanDad
03-24-2010, 7:36 PM
She's an unmitigated disaster. She is so obviously in over her head, and is so incapable of competently performing the duties of the job, she really needs to go, or this county is SCREWED.

We cannot afford another four years of Hurricane Sandy.

Two of the people she promoted to Captain to fill the vacancies left by these terminations, were not on the list of people eligible to be promoted to Captain because they haven't gone through the required promotion process, or even taken the Captain's exam.

Those of us who live in Orange County, better get out our checkbooks....

stag1500
03-24-2010, 10:54 PM
Two of the people she promoted to Captain to fill the vacancies left by these terminations, were not on the list of people eligible to be promoted to Captain because they haven't gone through the required promotion process, or even taken the Captain's exam.

Wow! Sounds a lot like Santa Clara County.

U2BassAce
03-24-2010, 10:56 PM
When will the madness stop? I hope the voters of Orange County are getting the word about the disaster who is now running the department. Maybe if they pay out enough in damages to plaintiffs they will get the point. Problem is......she will be locked into a minimum 4 year stint by then! (oh and paying a nice fat pension to her for life too):eek:

demnogis
03-25-2010, 2:25 AM
Wow! Sounds a lot like Los Angeles County. Fixed it for you.

Many, many, many MANY of us here in OC can't wait to get that waste-of-oxygen out of our sheriff's department.

IGOTDIRT4U
03-25-2010, 11:19 AM
Hutchens did consult the county's human resources department and county counsel before deciding on the layoffs, according to sheriff's department spokesman Ryan Burris.


I hope that that was not the same person that gave her counsel for her actions at the BOS meetings. She might be better served using alternative legal counsel for these type of consultations.

No, wait, keep using them, Sandy.

steadyrock
03-25-2010, 11:37 AM
I have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg for her. Sandi is in for a long campaign. A loooong campaign. Somebody's about to go Terry Tate (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzToNo7A-94) up on her!

BunnySlayer
03-25-2010, 1:52 PM
Hopefully this will be the first nail in her coffin in a long line of same. I think the only way to truly be rid of her will be to stuff her mouth full of garlic and put a crucifix on top when the election is over!!!

SteveH
03-25-2010, 3:33 PM
She got rid of some people that needed to go. it did result in some cost savings as their replacements are working for a lower pay rate. I'm not sure what their complaint is? Plus as administrators they are at will employees not generally subject to the peace officers bill of rights which was intended to protect street cops FROM administrators.

SteveH
03-25-2010, 3:35 PM
I fully expect whomever replaces Hutchens will get rid of Scott, James, ect and bring his own people on board. Its the way of the world.

OrangeCountyCCW
03-25-2010, 3:48 PM
This is a GREAT talking point for those of us who are anti-Hutchens -- whether pro-Hunt or pro-Hunter -- to use when talking to those who are not interested in CCW rights.

I've always thought the top three "non-CCW" issues on which Hutchens is weak are:

1. Budget and cost in the Department (as this lawsuit alleges and as shown by her hanky-panky with command staff compensation).

2. The jail system, which is STILL not cleaned up and continues to be a source of legal liability.

3. Law and order, meaning that for all her talk of "keeping us safe," she has released criminals early.

Let's keep the pressure on her!

IGOTDIRT4U
03-25-2010, 3:56 PM
She got rid of some people that needed to go. it did result in some cost savings as their replacements are working for a lower pay rate. I'm not sure what their complaint is? Plus as administrators they are at will employees not generally subject to the peace officers bill of rights which was intended to protect street cops FROM administrators.

So, you're saying Anderson's attorney is incompetent? Or are you saying that hiring 8 replacement administrators is perfectly normal when cutting a budget?

SteveH
03-25-2010, 4:21 PM
So, you're saying Anderson's attorney is incompetent? Or are you saying that hiring 8 replacement administrators is perfectly normal when cutting a budget?

She did not hire 8 replacement administrators. People with lower pay grades are doing the duties of the laid off administrators without getting a pay rasie to do so.

GuyW
03-25-2010, 4:30 PM
"....but, but...but - that's the way we do it in LA!"


.

hnoppenberger
03-25-2010, 4:56 PM
Ill crack a cold one when that criminal gets fired.

U2BassAce
03-25-2010, 9:40 PM
She got rid of some people that needed to go. it did result in some cost savings as their replacements are working for a lower pay rate. I'm not sure what their complaint is? Plus as administrators they are at will employees not generally subject to the peace officers bill of rights which was intended to protect street cops FROM administrators.

Yeah great move. Getting rid of command staff to save money. (again not because of lack of performance:p) Oh wait.....they both pull pensions, after that is factored in, basically "saves" the county pennies.

So if she is such a great leader of the department....why would she get rid of command staff that are performing up to expectations??? (to say otherwise will have the county paying a nice fat settlement) It can't be to save a few pennies in cost could it??

Transparency Appointed Sheriff Hutchens right????

Make it easy to understand I will use easy round figures that are not exact salaries or retirement income.

To keep JA $100k in salary
To FIRE JA $90K in retirement

So you could keep JA for $10K difference. SO WHY DID SHE SAY SHE CUT HIM BECAUSE OF BUDGET REASONS? Or was it something else?........

Transparency=honesty......not sure Hutchens has every understood what honesty is.

command_liner
03-25-2010, 9:55 PM
Sandy Sue is as dirty as the day is long. Early on, when somebody I
respect told me she was a third-rate mind from LA, and an affirmative
action hire at that, I was a bit suspect. That seemed harsh.

OK, so I was wrong. Our sheriff is a typical small-minded state-ist that
simply cannot comprehend that she works for the citizens. It is not
clear that she has done anything good, has angered the BOS and all
the CCW holders. This is what? her third round of lawsuits? No money
savings there. Only the ignorant would vote to elect her sheriff.

Sadly we have plenty of ignorant voters.

glbtrottr
03-26-2010, 3:03 AM
...an affirmative
action hire at that, I was a bit suspect. That seemed harsh. ....

Sadly we have plenty of ignorant voters.

But she's a woman Sheriff - yay! You *go* girl!
....I wonder how many of Orange County's finest desperate housewives and exes will vote simply so....:)

GaryPowersLives
03-26-2010, 10:40 AM
She got rid of some people that needed to go. it did result in some cost savings as their replacements are working for a lower pay rate. I'm not sure what their complaint is? Plus as administrators they are at will employees not generally subject to the peace officers bill of rights which was intended to protect street cops FROM administrators.

Why are you defending her?

ke6guj
03-26-2010, 11:18 AM
Yeah great move. Getting rid of command staff to save money. (again not because of lack of performance:p) Oh wait.....they both pull pensions, after that is factored in, basically "saves" the county pennies. does the county pay the pension? I think that pensions are paid by PERS, not by the county.

Make it easy to understand I will use easy round figures that are not exact salaries or retirement income.

To keep JA $100k in salary
To FIRE JA $90K in retirement

So you could keep JA for $10K difference. SO WHY DID SHE SAY SHE CUT HIM BECAUSE OF BUDGET REASONS? Or was it something else?........
again, I think that the pension costs come from previous PERS contributions, and that it is now paid by PERS and does not cost the county that $90k per year.

loather
03-26-2010, 11:21 AM
Sadly we have plenty of ignorant voters.

Sometimes you can't even blame ignorance for it: many people are just that stupid.

Glock22Fan
03-26-2010, 11:51 AM
Sometimes you can't even blame ignorance for it: many people are just that stupid.

There was no other explanation for the continued reelection of Ted Kennedy, who was widely known to be a dangerous drunk driver and womanizer who got away with it (including homicide) for decades and still got reelected every time.

Brian617
03-26-2010, 12:03 PM
Can we get an anti Hutchens thread going? It would be helpful if we had one source with reasons why she should not be elected including what she has done with the department, increased crime rate statistics since she's been the Sheriff, CCW revocation, etc. The primary is coming up quick (and the absentee ballot) and we need to do all that we can before it's too late.

It seems like we have far too many Hunt vs. Hunter threads and not enough dirt on Hutchens.

vrand
03-26-2010, 12:50 PM
She's an unmitigated disaster. She is so obviously in over her head, and is so incapable of competently performing the duties of the job, she really needs to go, or this county is SCREWED.

We cannot afford another four years of Hurricane Sandy.

Two of the people she promoted to Captain to fill the vacancies left by these terminations, were not on the list of people eligible to be promoted to Captain because they haven't gone through the required promotion process, or even taken the Captain's exam.

Those of us who live in Orange County, better get out our checkbooks....

yep :eek:

GuyW
03-26-2010, 1:14 PM
does the county pay the pension? I think that pensions are paid by PERS, not by the county.



Ohhh, a 3 Stooges moment [put on 3456-eatin' grin] "And where does PERS get their money?"

again, I think that the pension costs come from previous PERS contributions, and that it is now paid by PERS and does not cost the county that $90k per year.

Yearly pension contributions are revised continually, to account for updated statistics about costs and life expectancy, and most relevant, to make the nut when the investments aren't returning adequate $. No matter how you cut it, the county pays, and whether its past payments or future also seems irrelevant...

.

Lyte-
03-26-2010, 2:20 PM
Sandy Sue is as dirty as the day is long. Early on, when somebody I
respect told me she was a third-rate mind from LA, and an affirmative
action hire at that, I was a bit suspect. That seemed harsh.

OK, so I was wrong. Our sheriff is a typical small-minded state-ist that
simply cannot comprehend that she works for the citizens. It is not
clear that she has done anything good, has angered the BOS and all
the CCW holders. This is what? her third round of lawsuits? No money
savings there. Only the ignorant would vote to elect her sheriff.

Sadly we have plenty of ignorant voters.

Contrary to popular believe she is actually the exact demographic that Affirmative Action actually benefits the most.

SteveH
03-26-2010, 2:31 PM
Why are you defending her?

Facts are more important than politics.

SteveH
03-26-2010, 2:34 PM
Yeah great move. Getting rid of command staff to save money. (again not because of lack of performance:p) Oh wait.....they both pull pensions, after that is factored in, basically "saves" the county pennies.

So if she is such a great leader of the department....why would she get rid of command staff that are performing up to expectations??? (to say otherwise will have the county paying a nice fat settlement) It can't be to save a few pennies in cost could it??

Transparency Appointed Sheriff Hutchens right????

Make it easy to understand I will use easy round figures that are not exact salaries or retirement income.

To keep JA $100k in salary
To FIRE JA $90K in retirement

So you could keep JA for $10K difference. SO WHY DID SHE SAY SHE CUT HIM BECAUSE OF BUDGET REASONS? Or was it something else?........

Transparency=honesty......not sure Hutchens has every understood what honesty is.

Assuming your math is right, a $10,000.00 savings is still a savings and had the positibve side effect of getting rid of a Carona cronie.

Glock22Fan
03-26-2010, 2:45 PM
Facts are more important than politics.

Sounds naive to me.

Assuming your math is right, a $10,000.00 savings is still a savings and had the positibve side effect of getting rid of a Carona cronie.

Could she/did she, get a replacement for only $10K? Or is all that work simply not getting done?

SteveH
03-26-2010, 2:50 PM
Sounds naive to me.



Could she/did she, get a replacement for only $10K? Or is all that work simply not getting done?

The work is being done by a lower ranking administrator with no pay raise, as was already explained in this thread.

U2BassAce
03-26-2010, 3:41 PM
The work is being done by a lower ranking administrator with no pay raise, as was already explained in this thread.

She said she did not fire her Assistant Sheriffs because of lack of performance. So I take it he performed well. An experienced person in the command staff is leveraged many times over. Decisions they make and ideas they implement can save a department many times their salary.

Geeze this is business 101. You obviously don't get it. I KNOW FOR A FACT APPOINTED SHERIFF HUTCHENS DOES NOT GET IT!!! That is the point!

What CEO fires members of their performing senior management team? :p Times like this is when you need them most. Not a low ranking administrator. That is called being penny wise and dollar foolish.

ke6guj
03-26-2010, 4:05 PM
Ohhh, a 3 Stooges moment [put on 3456-eatin' grin] "And where does PERS get their money?"



Yearly pension contributions are revised continually, to account for updated statistics about costs and life expectancy, and most relevant, to make the nut when the investments aren't returning adequate $. No matter how you cut it, the county pays, and whether its past payments or future also seems irrelevant...

.my point was that the ~90% retirement he may be receiving isn't coming out of the county's pocket today. For the most part, the county paid into his retirement for the last ~30 years, and he's just retiring a little early. And yes, you are correct that his early retirement may cost the county additional monies in the future whey they adjust the pension contributions, but I doubt it will cost the county an additional 90k per year just because one guy retired early.

RomanDad
03-26-2010, 4:29 PM
Sorry Brian. I won't be able to consolodate for you... Namely because our goal is to put out a new Hutchens story every week until the election... Yes. There is that much.

RomanDad
03-26-2010, 4:35 PM
Steve- the "interim positions" with reduced pay, are just that... "Interim". There comes a point (I believe its 6 mos) when she as to pay them the full salary, and she has committed the county to that increased pay and increased command staff. That is why bill campbell and pat bates were so pissed off at her. They saw through her nonsense and outright lies.

OrangeCountyCCW
03-26-2010, 4:37 PM
I can't believe anyone would argue in favor of what Hutchens did with the command staff, or view the suit by Mr. Anderson, et al. as anything other than positive.

The fact is that she played games with our command staff and fired hardworking Orange County deputies who had risen through the ranks, so that she could install her LA cronies instead.

I for one am rooting for Mr. Anderson, et al. in their suit. I do hope, however, that those who slammed Mr. Hunt for "suing the county" and "costing the taxpayers money" and then gleefully called him a "LOSER" when the suit didn't go his way, will either be consistent enough to condemn Mr. Anderson's suit or instead (as I hope) will rethink their condemnation of Mr. Hunt's suit.

I also hope that if Mr. Anderson should suffer any unfortunate reversals in the trial court, we'll all be big-hearted enough not to brand him a "LOSER."

RomanDad
03-26-2010, 5:25 PM
I can't believe anyone would argue in favor of what Hutchens did with the command staff, or view the suit by Mr. Anderson, et al. as anything other than positive.

The fact is that she played games with our command staff and fired hardworking Orange County deputies who had risen through the ranks, so that she could install her LA cronies instead.

Exactly. As someone who comes from the PRIVATE sector, I know that simply FIRING the top management of a company, and bringing in CHEAP replacements, RARELY results in a cost savings. There is the hidden cost of TRAINING, and lost productivity associated with replacing SEASONED skill management with UNSKILLED (and in this instance UNQUALIFIED) subordinates. If you did all this and thought you could get them up to speed and KEEP paying them low wages, that might be defensible, but doing it when you know YOU WILL SOON HAVE TO PAY THEM WHAT YOU WERE PAYING THEIR PREDECESSORS, AND YOU HAD TO ADD TWO MORE, It doesn't take a Nobel Prize in economics to discover that business model LOSES MONEY LONG TERM.

This was done, plain and simple, as a decapitation move. Something you would see in a Banana Republic when a new dictator takes over.... He finds all the people who might someday challenge him for the position, who might make him look foolish because they know what they're doing (and he doesn't), and takes them out and shoots them. It does wonderous things for his job security, but does little to improve the organization, or welfare of the citizens.