Nick Berardino – president of Valor, the Veterans Alliance of Orange County and President of Heroes Hall Foundation – talks about the challenges facing what he calls America’s most disrespected minority, veterans, as well as the quest for a veterans cemetery in OC.
Today, Voice of OC leads a media coalition in Orange County appearing before Superior Court Judge Nathan Scott to oppose a deputy sheriff union request to block public access to police misconduct records. While State Attorney General Javier Becerra and local elected officials have largely given way to local police unions fighting against the implementation of SB1421, this week news publishers from across the state attending the California News Publishers Association capital conference in Sacramento reasserted their strong support for the myriad of public records lawsuits being waged across the state as a media coalition.
Santa Ana City Council members granted raises to police officers and sergeants totaling $25 million over the next two and a half years, without the ability to actually pay the $4.3 million cost for this fiscal year.
Reyna was facing the likelihood of sworn testimony, in public, by other city officials and one of his family members regarding allegations he falsified residency documents. His resignation sets the stage for a potential shift in power at City Hall.
Roughly 1,300 people are sleeping in homeless shelters throughout Orange County, with all big shelters located in north and central Orange County in cities like Santa Ana and Anaheim, according to unofficial numbers provided to Voice of OC.
Santa Ana City Council members will vote Tuesday on the largest pay raises for the city’s police officers in more than a decade, totaling $25 million in taxpayer money over the next two and a half years and adding $12 million per year going forward in additional costs. The raises amount to a 13.6 percent to 19.3 percent increase in base pay for each officer and sergeant between now and July 2020, according to the city. Officers and sergeants with 15 to 19 years in law enforcement would receive raises totaling 16.5 percent, and those with 20 or more years would receive 19.3 percent in increases. Before the last set of raises in 2017, the median compensation for a Santa Ana officer totaled about $213,000 per year, including $111,000 in pay before overtime and $88,000 in benefits, according to city data published by Transparent California. The city staff report doesn’t offer an explanation for the raises, beyond saying they resulted from negotiations between the police officers’ union and City Council.
After County Counsel Leon Page takes a public stand on defending the public’s right to know about police records, county supervisors order a stand down. Media representatives such as the LA Times and So Cal Public Radio, led by Voice of OC, head back into court this Thursday to oppose the action.