Restraining Order Doesn’t Stop OC Fair Layoffs

While an Orange County Superior Court earlier this month issued a temporary restraining order halting the sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds, it apparently hasn’t stopped much.

On Wednesday, the Department of Personnel Administration sent out notices to 105 workers at the Orange County Fairgrounds (the 32nd District Agricultural Association) telling them that in 120 days, they will lose their jobs.

Most of the workers, 82, are full-time while close to another two dozen are part-time.

To date, escrow hasn’t even opened on the sale of the property. And the 32nd District Agricultural Association wasn’t included in the last version of the deal because the Legislature wouldn’t agree to sell the Fairgrounds franchise.

Yet after Wednesday’s layoff notices, in perfect coordination with the state layoff notices, representatives from Facilities Management West met with fair employees and told them they would have a chance to win their jobs back when the company took over the Fairgrounds from the state.

“Current OC Fair Employees Will Have Jobs When Ownership Changes Hands, Winning Bidder Says,” read the headline of the press release sent out by FMW.

FMW also announced Wednesday that former Fairgrounds Chief Executive Becky Bailey Findley would be taking over the operations at the Fairgrounds to “lead the ownership transition.”

Makes one wonder what exactly got temporarily restrained.