O.C. agrees to payout to avoid suit over use of jail
Orange County has agreed to pay the city of Orange up to $340,000 a year to stave off a potential lawsuit regarding the housing of federal immigration detainees at a county jail within the city limits.
The Sheriff’s Department reached an agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this summer to house up to 838 detainees at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange and the James A. Musick Facility near Irvine, which would bring in an estimated $35million to the department and help close its budget gap.
But the central Orange County community of Orange raised early objections, saying the move would violate a 1995 agreement it has with the county concerning the Theo Lacy Facility, which is across the street from the bustling Block at Orange shopping center.
In addition to the annual payout, the city will pay only about $5,000 a year to use the Sheriff’s Department shooting range. It currently pays three times that. In return, the city agreed not to sue.
The lone dissenter, Supervisor John Moorlach, said he felt shaken down and “violated” by the payout.