Will the board of Supervisors ever pay up for Steve Cooley’s and Friends Union Busting?

January 26, 2012

Back in October Marc Debbaudt and the Association of Deputy District Attorneys were awarded $450,000 and $157,000 respectively in damages to pay for attorneys fees and compensation for harming the ADDA and Debbaudt’s  career when Steve Cooley settled those two portions of the federal law suit for union busting.  Cooley is represented by Jones Day and has racked up millions in dollars in attorneys fees at the expense of the tax payers.  Cooley  has refused to settle the portion of the law suit with regards to the former ADDA President Steve Ipsen and current ADDA President Hyatt Seligman.  Clearly the cases brought about by Debbeaut and the ADDA were so egregious that even Jones Day couldn’t defend Cooley’s shenanigans.  

The Board of Supervisors is said to have approved payment to the ADDA and union member Marc Debbeaut for damages. But, no one is exactly sure what happened in this closed session (aka. secret) meeting.

Inside sources reveal that the Board of Supervisors approved payment for the damages, but the ADDA and Marc Debbaudt have yet to receive payment.  The trial for Steve Ipsen and Hyatt Seligman was supposed to begin this month, but postponed until June.  If the Board of Supervisors were planning on delaying payment to see if Ipsen and Seligman won their trials, they could refuse to pay in the event Ipsen and Seligman lost.  That would send Debbaudt back to court.  Will the Board of Supervisors delay payment to the ADDA and Marc Debbaudt for six more months?  That has yet to be determined.


L.A. County settles part of suit alleging anti-union conduct

October 6, 2011
Steve Cooley’s Anti-Union Conduct
By Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times
October 5, 2011
 
Los Angeles County will pay $575,000 to settle part of a federal law suit claiming that Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley and his managers waged an anti-union campaign, according to a settlement agreement filed in court. The settlement, which must be approved by the Board of Supervisors, would pay $125,000 to the prosecutors’ union and $450,000 to Deputy Dist. Atty. Marc Debbaudt, who a county employment commission found was transferred in retaliation for his union activity. In addition, a preliminary federal injunction ordering Cooley and other county officials not to discipline or discriminate against prosecutors for belonging to the union would remain in effect for the rest of Cooley’s tenure as D.A. Cooley has announced he will retire next year at the end of his third term.Matthew Monforton, an attorney representing the Assn. of Deputy District Attorneys, hailed the settlement as a victory for the union and described Cooley’s conduct as “outrageous and illegal.”Earlier this year, the county’s Employee Relations Commission upheld the findings of a hearing officer who concluded that veteran prosecutors were transferred to less desirable assignments as a result of their union work. Debbaudt, who joined the office in 1986, was sent from handling adult felony cases in Pasadena to working on juvenile matters in Pomona and then Sylmar, assignments usually given to less experienced attorneys. The hearing officer found that Cooley gave explanations that “were false and clearly pretexts” for conducting a “deliberate and thinly disguised campaign” aimed at destroying the union.Debbaudt and Cooley declined to comment on the settlement.Attorney Brian Hershman, a partner at the law firm Jones Day who represents the county, disputed the commission’s findings and said no prosecutors were retaliated against.He said the county settled the case to end what had become a distraction to the mission of the district attorney’s office. “We wanted to put that dispute behind us,” he said.Claims by two other prosecutors who are part of the lawsuit are scheduled for trial next month, Hershman said.

jack.leonard@latimes.com


Betty Pleasant Updates on Union Busting – Jackie Lacey and Steve Cooley

September 29, 2011
Betty Pleasant Updates Us on the LA Union Busting Crusade of Jackie Lacey and Steve Cooley

Betty Pleasant Updates Us on the LA Union Busting Crusade of Jackie Lacey and Steve Cooley

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.

 A portion of the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court on April 5, 2010 by four individual deputy D.A.s and the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, was settled last week. According to the “Memorandum of Understanding Re: Settlement” dated Sept. 19, the county will pay the ADDA $125,000 for Cooley’s and Lacey’s wrongdoings, and will pay Dep. D.A. Marc Debbaudt $440,000 for the pain and suffering Cooley/Lacey caused him. And that’s just one plaintiff; there are three more plaintiffs involved now in settlement negotiations over the unlawful actions of Cooley/Lacey.

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.


Steve Ipsen Announces and Celebrates with the Association of Deputy District Attorney’s in Their Agency Shop Victory via Facebook

August 18, 2011

After a 10 year battle, Steve Ipsen and the ADDA can finally celebrate in their hard earned victory. First certification, then affiliation with AFSCME and now passing Agency Shop.

Winning a 5:1 vote – the Association of Deputy District Attorney’s affiliated with AFSCME.  Now in a vote of 3:2 by all Deputy District Attorneys, union and non-union members, Agency Shop Passes.  All deputy district attorneys will pay their fair share and have representation and a voice in their future.

Just announced on his campaign Facebook page Steve Ipsen says, “I am pleased to announce that the Association of Deputy District Attorneys has won our Agency Shop election with a resounding 60% in favor: 302 to 204. As my friends and supporters know, for nearly a decade I have dedicated my efforts towards building the ADDA into a powerful organization looking out for prosecutors in the LA DA’s office, so that we can focus on prosecuting crime and protecting public safety. As the founder of the union, and 8 term president, I was proud when we became a union in 2008, joined in solidarity with AFSCME, the nations largest public employees union, in 2009, and affiliated with AFSCME AFL/CIO in 2010. Now with the agency shop election victory, we have achieved the final victory in becoming the organization prosecutors in Los Angeles deserve.”

Steve Ipsen founded the Association of Deputy District Attorney’s Union and was President of the ADDA for nearly a decade.  Succeeded by President Hyatt Seligman, the ADDA continues to win their battles against overwhelming forces by the County.


The Association of Deputy District Attorney’s Wins Affiliation with AFSCME – Steve Cooley, Jackie Lacey and Mario Trujillo under fire for “union busting”

June 22, 2011
Association of Deputy District Attorneys affiliates with AFSCME
Association of Deputy District Attorneys affiliates with AFSCME

Winning a 5:1 vote – the Association of Deputy District Attorney’s is now affiliated with AFSCME.  The elected District Attorney Steve Cooley and second in charge Jacquelyn “Jackie” Lacey can’t be happy with the overwhelming result given that they have a federal law suit against them.   

California Lawyer Magazine reported Deputy District Attorney Rob Dver’s testimony is at the heart of the federal law suit.  Rob Dver testified that Jackie Lacey and Steve Cooley violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (Read Dver testimony).  Additionally, Jackie Lacey and Mario Trujillo are both running for District Attorney in 2012.  They are part of the management team that is charged with “union busting” in civil court.  Elected DA Steve Cooley is backing Jackie Lacey’s candidacy.  Both she and Mario Trujillo have stated they will exit the race if Steve Cooley decides to jump back in the race at the last-minute. 

Steve Ipsen founded the Association of Deputy District Attorneys and was President of the ADDA for nearly a decade.  The ADDA will now proceed with an agency shop election.

Steve Ipsen will challenge Jackie Lacey and Mario Trujillo in the Los Angeles District Attorney 2012 election.  Steve Ipsen has been outspoken about the anti-union actions of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s management team.  The trial is set to begin in September.


California Lawyer Magazine reports Jackie Lacey, Mario Trujillo and Steve Cooley are under scrutiny for UNION BUSTING!

June 3, 2011
Mario Trujillo, Steve Cooley and Jacquelyn Lacey "Jackie" are scrutinized in the California Lawyer Magazine as the facts are reported as UNION BUSTING!

Mario Trujillo, Steve Cooley and Jacquelyn Lacey "Jackie" are scrutinized in the California Lawyer Magazine as the facts are reported as UNION BUSTING!

California Lawyer Magazine’s June article features Mario Trujillo, Steve Cooley and Jacquelyn “Jackie” Lacey.  The California Lawyer reports their involvement in anti union relations as managers in the District Attorney’s office.
 
Mario Trujillo – Running for District Attorney in 2012, Trujillo is is currently a Head Deputy at the Bellflower branch with only 15 years of experience.
 
Steve Cooley – He is Los Angeles’s elected District Attorney who ran against Kamala Harris for Attorney General and lost with an overwhelming majority in his own LA County territory.
 
Jacquelyn “Jackie” Lacey – Lacey is also running for District Attorney in 2012 and was  just promoted to #2 in the office by Steve Cooley.  She was recently endorsed by Steve Cooley who is a Republican.  Many believe this is a false endorsement to give Alan Jackson (Cooley’s real choice and the Republican party’s true choice) a chance at becoming elected.  Minutes after Cooley’s endorsement, Cooley’s good friend, the Republican Board of Supervisor Michael Antonovich endorsed Alan Jackson.  It is no secret that Cooley isn’t favored in LA County after his recent loss to Kamala Harris where an overwhelming majority of LA County voters supported Harris.  The obvious answer is that an endorsement from Steve Cooley may actually hurt Lacey. If she can’t raise money using Cooley’s name, he can use this excuse to re-enter the race at the last-minute to prevent a year-long attack for 11 years of overcrowded jails and a bloated prison system.

These three prosecutors will have some questions to answer when they take the witness stand in September and the Jones Day attorney’s will likely have to go through many practice rounds of cross examination to prevent further mishaps while under oath. 

THREE STRIKES AGAINST THESE PROSECUTORS ALREADY

  1.  The HONORABLE Judge Otis D. Wright imposed an unprecedented federal injunction to stop Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley for union busting activities that he called “striking and rampant”.   He stated, “Plaintiffs have established a high likelihood of irreparable harm. Defendants’ far-reaching actions have pushed the union to the brink and, as Plaintiffs point out, “ADDA’s ability to recruit new members, and retain current ones, has been severely strained by the pressures from Defendants’ harassment and intimidation.” (Mot. at 21.) Indeed, given the fear instilled by Defendants, and the union hesitancy and defections resulting therefrom, it is very likely that ADDA will not even exist by the time this action concludes.” He then goes on to say “IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees or persons in active concert with any of them, are restrained and enjoined from discriminating or retaliating against members of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys on the basis of their membership in ADDA. This Order includes, but is not limited to, a prohibition of punitive transfers, demotions, discriminatory distribution of benefits and discipline on the basis of membership in the ADDA. Defendants are also enjoined and restrained from utilizing rates for medical or health benefit plans that are based upon a deputy district attorney’s representation by ADDA.” (Read full order here)
  2.  An Employee Relations Hearing Officer Thomas Kerrigan heard three months of testimony and stated, “This case is almost anachronistic in its nature with undisguised acts so bold that they are almost without parallel in recently reported cases, continuing acts committed to destroy a labor union and damage the careers of senior deputies.” (Read the full Employee Relations Commission’s Hearing Officer’s order here)
  3. A full Employee Relations Commission Board did a third review of the evidence and found Steve Cooley’s anti-unionanimus to be “outrageous”.

Jones Day is being paid millions of dollars by the tax payers to defend Trujillo’s, Cooley’s and Lacey’s anti-union behavior that has stretched out for over two years.  The three times reviewed evidence has been repeatedly condemned and the Jones Day lawyer stated, “If you really delve into it at all, it’s clear that the transfers had nothing to do with the union or union activities,” says Brian Hershman, a partner at Jones Day hired by Cooley to defend him.

We will hear testimony in September.


Illegal Union Busting in the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office. Are Steve Cooley, Jackie Lacey and Mario Trujillo Union Busters?

April 2, 2011

We are here to get the word out to all union members and their leaders that Steve Cooley, and two candidates for the 2012 elected District Attorney election, Jackie Lacey and Mario Trujillo, are being sued in federal court for Union Busting.  Cooley, Lacey and Trujillo are in the spotlight. 

Mario Trujillo, Steve Cooley, Jackie Lacey are being sued in federal court for UNION BUSTING
Mario Trujillo, Steve Cooley, Jackie Lacey are being sued in federal court for UNION BUSTING

Just out yesterday May 23, 2011. In a Letter from Maria Elena Durzo stating that the AFL-CIO is NOT backing Jackey Lacey, the Executive Secretary-Treasurer and well respected Maria Elena Durazo writes to dispel the claims that Jackie Lacey is backed by any union and especially not the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO.  This claim was falsely reported by Rick Orlov of the Daily News.  It appears that Rick Orlov is using his blogger connetions to report false information that could help Jackey Lacey in the media and just in time for her announced fundraiser this Saturday.  Orlov printed no retraction to his article, but merely changed a few words in the false statement.

Letter from Maria Elena Durazo dispeling claims that AFL-CIO would endores Jackie Lacey who is involved in a federal lawsuit.

Letter from Maria Elena Durazo dispeling claims that AFL-CIO would endores Jackie Lacey who is involved in a federal lawsuit.

The letter written by Maria Elana Durazo was a quick response displaying the serious nature of false information provided by the Daily News.

Of the many candidates in the 2012 race for Los Angeles District Attorney, there are two candidates along with Steve Cooley, who have been ordered by federal judge Otis D. Wright, in an unprecedented federal injunction on March 2, 2010, to stop anti-union behavior.  They are being sued in federal court. 

Mario Trujillo is a candidate for Los Angeles District Attorney 2012 and part of the federal law suit.  He obtained the “union list” that finally reached management.  He has also stated that if his boss Steve Cooley enters the race he will back out.

Steve Cooley is the elected District Attorney of Los Angeles County and has admitted to anti-union behavior on the witness stand.

Jackie Lacey was recently promoted to #2 in the LA DAs office  by Steve Cooley.  She is endorsed by Cooley for the 2012 election.  She has also stated she will back out of the race if Steve Cooley decides last minute he will run again.  Lacey is now the second highest ranking management officer in the Los Angeles DAs office.  She is running to become your next Los Angeles District Attorney 2012. 

The three district attorney’s have allegedly deliberately tried to destroy the careers of accomplished and well respected deputy district attorneys. (read federal lawsuit here)

This website is to expose the outrageous union busting going on in the city of Los Angeles. A federal judge, an employee relations commission hearing officer and the full Employee Relations Board have found Cooley’s anti-union actions illegal, violating the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

1.  Federal Judge Otis D. Wright imposed an unprecedented federal injunction to stop Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley for union busting activities that he called “striking and rampant”.  Judge Wright stated, “Plaintiffs have established a high likelihood of irreparable harm. Defendants’ far-reaching actions have pushed the union to the brink and, as Plaintiffs point out, “ADDA’s ability to recruit new members, and retain current ones, has been severely strained by the pressures from Defendants’ harassment and intimidation.” (Mot. at 21.) Indeed, given the fear instilled by Defendants, and the union hesitancy and defections resulting therefrom, it is very likely that ADDA will not even exist by the time this action concludes.” He then goes on to say “IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendens, their officers, agents, servants, employees or persons in active concert with any of them, are restrained and enjoined from discriminating or retaliating against members of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys on the basis of their membership in ADDA. This Order includes, but is not limited to, a prohibition of punitive transfers, demotions, discriminatory distribution of benefits and discipline on the basis of membership in the ADDA. Defendants are also enjoined and restrained from utilizing rates for medical or health benefit plans that are based upon a deputy district attorney’s representation by ADDA.” (Read full order here)

2.  Employee relations officer Thomas Kerrigan heard three months of testimony and stated “This case is almost anachronistic in its nature with undisguised acts so bold that they are almost without parallel in recently reported cases, continuing acts committed to destroy a labor union and damage the careers of senior deputies.” (Read the full Employee Relations Commission’s Hearing Officer’s order here)

 3.  The full Employee Relations Commission Board did a third review of the evidence and found Steve Cooley’s anti-unionanimus to be “outrageous”.

The powerful condemnation of federal court Judge Otis D. Wright and the harsh words of the Employee Relations Commission  board and hearing officer are not a surprise when we review the testimony and evidence.

Defending Steve Cooley are the Jones Day attorneys in upwards  of millions of dollars at the taxpayers expense.  Several news papers including the LA Times, Californiawatch, The Daily News and the Metnews have covered the story.  Former Deputy District Attorney Matthew Monforton filed the whistle blower law suit in federal court on behalf of the prosecutors union.

Here we will tell the story from the beginning, so unions of LA county, the state of California and nation wide will see to what lengths an elected official like Steve Cooley will go to in order to prevent and erode a union that threatens his office.  The local and state unions have given Cooley money for his campaigns in the past and we are here to get the word out and prevent the union endorsements of LA’s largest union buster.