THE SOULVINE: COST OF UNION BUSTING
By BETTY PLEASANT, Contributing Editor
Story Created: Sep 28, 2011 at 7:09 PM PDT
As anticipated, the lawsuit against District Attorney Steve Cooley and his joined-at-the-hip cohort, Jacquelyn Lacey, for their union busting campaign to thwart the organizing of their subordinate deputies in the District Attorney’s office, is costing us taxpayers a fortune.
Oh, and you know that face-slapping preliminary injunction Judge Otis Wright issued on March 2, 2010 against Cooley for his flagrant anti-union actions? Well, last week’s settlement stipulates that the injunction be declared permanent and in full effect for as long as Cooley is the D.A. — “including both his current term and any subsequent terms.”
But wait. That’s not all. We know that whenever private citizens sue a government entity, we, the taxpayers, have to pay the price. When this matter came up, I decried the fact that the tax-supported county counsel was defending Cooley/Lacey against this suit. I felt, and still feel, that the Cooley/Lacey crimes are outside the realm of prosecutorial immunity and that — like Rep. Laura Richardson and other alleged law-breaking federal officials — these two should pay for their own defense. The on-the-payroll county counsel started working on the Cooley/Lacey defense, but then passed it off to the big time downtown law firm of Jones Day, which is expected to earn big time fees for representing these two miscreants. So, at a time when government coffers are supposed to be at an all-time low, we taxpayers must pay for the settlements and/or awards to five plaintiffs, the salary of the county counsel and the fees for Jones Day — all because Cooley didn’t want his deputies to form a union.
You know what else Cooley did? He did what he always does: He manipulated the justice system to meet his own ends. He engineered a stipulation to dismiss Lacey from the lawsuit, leaving only himself to blame. Why did he do that? It’s obvious. He desperately wants Lacey to succeed him as D.A. and he wanted the taint of this suit removed from her while she’s running for his office. Ah-h-h, he’s so sweet. He’s so helpful to her. That’s why Lacey loves him so and why she says, “working for this man makes my heart glow.”
There is nothing Cooley won’t do to get Lacey elected, up to and including bad-mouthing his old friend and staunch supporter City Attorney Carmen Trutunich and calling in all of his Republican markers so Lacey can have plenty of money to run on. Well, it’s a long time until election day and this thing can get very ugly, particularly in the Black community where the effect of the current Cooley/Lacey regime in the D.A.’s office has been onerous.