Thursday, October 23, 2003
Sheriff to Transfer Beverly Hills Courthouse Deputies
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The 10 Beverly Hills courthouse deputies who face contempt charges for calling in sick Oct. 15 will be transferred to new duties effective Nov. 2, a sheriff’s spokesperson said yesterday.
The spokesman said at least two of the deputies will be given assignments they requested. A judge in Santa Ana Tuesday set a Dec. 8 contempt trial date for the 10, their union and nine union officials, two of them civilians.
Attorney Richard G. Hirsch of Nasatir, Hirsch, Podberesky & Genego in Santa Monica, who represents the 10, said they will probably challenge the transfers by filing grievances.
Orange Superior Court Judge John M. Watson is to decide at a Nov. 6 hearing whether the county has made out a prima facie case of contempt against the union and the 19 individuals. If convicted, they could be jailed for five days and fined $1,000 for each violation of a preliminary injunction against the deputies’ sickout Watson issued Oct. 14.
The injunction bars the deputies and their union, the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, from participating in any job action, including the sickout which began late last month and has intermittently snarled operations in the courts and jails. The case was assigned to Watson after all Los Angeles Superior Court judges recused themselves.
On Tuesday, Watson ordered the county’s lawyers to file and serve affidavits laying out the contempt case by noon tomorrow. He said the papers must show that the contemnors willfully disobeyed a valid court order of which they had actual knowledge and with which they had the ability to comply.
ALADS President Roy Burns has said the union is not behind the job action, in which on some days hundreds of deputies have failed to report for work. Union officials have ascribed the sick calls to employee frustration over stalled contract bargaining.
The union’s pay contract expired Jan. 31 and its fringe benefits contract expired Sept. 30.
Court officials reported no sickout activity yesterday. The courts have been unaffected by the sickout since Oct. 15.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company