Managers were making their final contract offer at the Santa Ana offices of the 12,000-member Orange County Employees Association, when union chief Nick Berardino allegedly “verbally abused and physically threatened with violence” county negotiators, County CEO Mike Giancola wrote in a letter to OCEA Friday. OCEA represents rank-and-file employees, according to the OC Register.
The county is filing a formal assault complaint with the Santa Ana Police Department, according to the letter. Officials also will try to bar Berardino from future negotiations, will not meet at OCEA offices, and will provide security during future sessions, the letter adds.
Here are a few more details about Berardino’s shameful behavior:
More than 30 representatives from labor and county management were gathered at OCEA headquarters in Santa Ana Wednesday afternoon. The county’s new contract negotiator, Bruce Barsook, from the law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, handed Berardino the county’s final offer.
The Voice of OC provided further details about Berardino’s alleged assault:
Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson, who heard various accounts of the exchange, said that after the county’s chief negotiator Bruce Barsook delivered the county’s last, best and final offer capping nearly two years of negotiations, Berardino crumpled it up and threw it back at Barsook and told him to leave the OCEA offices.
When Barsook didn’t immediately comply, Berardino took off his coat and charged at him saying, “I’m going to F*** you up,” according to Nelson.
Nelson said two Sheriff’s officials – one from the OCEA negotiating team and another from the county team – had to restrain Berardino.
Note that there were two Sheriff’s officials in the room. That is not good news for Berardino as the officers are sworn to uphold the law and they will have to testify as to what happened.
That stands in stark contrast to Berardino’s paid PR hack Jennifer Muir, who said that Berardino did not utter those words but emphatically told Barsook and county negotiators to get out of the OCEA building.
Muir told the OC Register, in a new article, that Barsook smirked “When [Nick] told them we have members who can’t afford to put gas in their cars,” and that is why Berardino told him to leave.
Wouldn’t you smirk if you heard the overpaid and overstuffed Berardino claim that his public employee union members can’t afford to buy gas – they are among the most overpaid employees in Orange County!
If the SAPD investigation determines that Berardino did behave like this he should face assault charges and he should be dismissed from the Orange County Fair Board. Moreover the OCEA needs to think about canning him and selecting a leader who can behave himself.
Here is a bonus video of Libertarian columnist Steven Greenhut wrecking Berardino at a debate about public employee pensions: