Orange County is two years into its legal battle with its Sheriff’s Deputy Union. 

The question that’s been debated in court decisions so far is whether a 2001 decision by the Board of Supervisors to increase the deputies’ pension program to a 3@50 plan violated the State Constitution.

Not only has the case been long, it hasn’t been cheap. So far, the County has committed $2.26 million to the endeavour. Should the County lose, it will also be responsible for the cost of the Union defense.

But the stakes are high. Should the County win, Supervisor John Moorlach thinks the total savings could be in the neighborhood fo $500 million.

Surely, as the pension crisis continues to unfold, other cities, counties, and the state is going to watch to see if the court will allow unsustainable pensions to be rolled-back.

From the Orange County Register:

The County of Orange’s fight to overturn the county’s generous “3 percent at 50″ pension plan for sheriff’s deputies is not over just yet. Next stop: the California Supreme Court.

Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who has been a vocal opponent of continuing to spend taxpayer money fighting the case, was the lone no vote in Tuesday’s closed session decision.

The case is in its third year of litigation. A win by the county could save as much as $500 million. A loss could mean the county will have to pay their $2 million-plus legal bill along with the legal bills for the deputies’ union.

Read the full article here.