The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 9, 2010
Chiang asks to disqualify judge in minimum-wage case

UPDATE 5:00 p.m. Judge Patrick Marlette has been assigned to replace Judge Timothy Frawley in the minimum-wage case. Read the post here.

Lawyers for State Controller John Chiang today moved to disqualify Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley from hearing the high-stakes case over whether state employees should receive minimum wage if no state budget is approved.

The motion is under consideration, but typically is granted in such cases.

In the motion, Chiang attorney Bryant Delgadillo declared that Frawley "is prejudiced against SCO (state controller's office) or its interests, such that I believe that SCO cannot have a fair or impartial trial before this judge."

Frawley was the judge who ruled against Chiang last year in the original minimum-wage fight that Schwarzenegger brought in 2008.

Chiang spokeswoman Hallye Jordan said the initial hearing in the current case, set for Wednesday, is likely to proceed, but with a new judge.

Because the state has entered the fiscal year without an approved budget, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has told Chiang to pay about 200,000 state employees the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, with back pay to come after the budget is enacted. Chiang has refused. The Republican governor is hoping for an order to force Democrat Chiang's hand in the matter.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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