SACRAMENTO (CN) – California says the politically powerful prison guards union has not repaid $4 million it borrowed so members could take paid time off for union activities. The California Correctional Peace Officers Union repaid only $122,486, less than 5 percent of its bill, and is racking up new bills of $56,000 a month, the state claims in Superior Court.
The lawsuit is a rare move from the state against a union that often calls the shots in the Statehouse.
California says it agreed to pay CCPOA members’ salaries and benefits and release workers from work on “paid union leave,” on the condition the union repaid it.
The state says that in January this year it sent the union a letter threatening legal action unless the CCPOA paid at least $2 million of the outstanding invoices and “agreed to a payment schedule of the remaining balance.” But the union failed to do either, the state says, though it did send checks for $40,832 and $81,664.
The state demands damages and restitution for breach of contract, bad faith and unjust enrichment. It is represented by John Schonberg with Littler Mendelson of San Francisco.