January was a bad month for O.C. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. Not only did three inmates escape from the O.C. Central Men’s Jail – a Deputy Sheriff also left an AR-15 rifle on the trunk of his car and drove off. That weapon has still not been recovered.
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.