Archive for the ‘ County of Orange ’ Category

Orange County District Attorney

By Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
Published: May 9, 2016
Updated:   May 10, 2016 7:39 a.m.

Convicted double murderer Henry Rodriguez was released on bail Monday after 18 years in prison, another felony case upended because of questions related to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office’s use of jailhouse informants.

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KPCC: OC sheriff investigating its own use of jailhouse informants

Orange County Men's Central Jail

Three inmates escaped from the Orange County Central Men’s Jail on January 22, 2016. The facility was built in 1968. Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Erika Aguilar
May 05, 2016 – 09:36 PM

Orange County sheriff’s officials have assigned an investigative sergeant to monitor how and if jailhouse informants will be used with the Sheriff’s consultation after deputies failed to disclose records to the court on the department’s inmate informant program.

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James Crawford Beating Photo

Attorney James Crawford was injured in a fight with an Orange County district attorney’s investigator at a Santa Ana courthouse. (Courtesy of Jerry Steering)

Christopher Goffard
March 15, 2016

Attorneys for a man accused in a Lake Forest assault have asked that the Orange County district attorney’s office be thrown off the case, citing “a pattern of intimidation” against defense witnesses — most recently when one of the district attorney’s investigators bloodied an attorney in a courthouse hallway.

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Defense attorney James Crawford, who recently won a victory in a court case connected to the ongoing informant scandal, said he was attacked by a District Attorney’s investigator.

Defense attorney James Crawford, who recently won a victory in a court case connected to the ongoing informant scandal, said he was attacked by a District Attorney’s investigator on Wednesday. (Courtesy of Jerry Steering)

By Sean Emery, Tony Saavedra and Scott Schwebke / Staff Writers
March 11, 2016 – Updated 8:04 a.m.

SANTA ANA – An Orange County defense attorney on Thursday launched an online petition calling for the arrest of a district attorney’s investigator involved in a courthouse altercation with Orange lawyer James Crawford.

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James Crawford Beating Photo

Attorney James Crawford shown after an alleged fight Wednesday involving an Orange County district attorney’s investigator at a Santa Ana courthouse. (Courtesy of Jerry Steering)

Richard Winton
March 9, 2016

The 10th floor of a Santa Ana courthouse was the site of a bloody brawl Wednesday between a defense attorney and an investigator from the Orange County district attorney’s office, authorities said.

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ACLU

By Tony Saavedra and Scott Schwebke / Staff writers
March 4, 2016 – Updated 6:08 p.m.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California jumped into the Orange County fight over jailhouse informants on Friday, filing a public records request seeking access to internal law enforcement files dating back to 1985.

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Surrounded by staff, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, center, listens as The Orange County Board of Supervisors meets with Robert Gerard and other authors of the Orange County District Attorney Informant Policies & Practices Evaluation Committee Report at The Orange County Hall of Administration in Santa Ana on Tuesday. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: boardsnitchreport.0113 - 1/12/16 - PHOTO BY JOSHUA SUDOCK, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER - The Orange County Board of Supervisors meets with Robert Gerard and other authors of the Orange County District Attorney Informant Policies & Practices Evaluation Committee Report during their regular meeting at The Orange County Hall of Administration in Santa Ana on Tuesday. Picture made at The Orange County Hall of Administration in Santa Ana, California, on Tuesday, January 12, 2016.

Surrounded by staff, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, center, listens as The Orange County Board of Supervisors meets with Robert Gerard and other authors of the Orange County District Attorney Informant Policies & Practices Evaluation Committee Report at The Orange County Hall of Administration in Santa Ana on Tuesday. Joshua Sudock ?Staff Photographer)

By Meghann M. Cuniff / Staff Writer
Updated Jan. 13, 2016 8:34 a.m.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday told the district attorney and sheriff to estimate how much it will cost to implement an outside legal committee’s reform recommendations in the wake of the county’s jailhouse informant controversy.

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Tony Rackauckas

Orange County Dist. Atty Tony Rackauckas created a special committee in July amid mounting criticism about the use of jailhouse informants by his office. (Los Angeles Times)

Matt Hamilton and James Queally
December 4, 2015

A “failure of leadership” at the Orange County district attorney’s office led to repeated problems with the handling of jailhouse informants and helped erode confidence in criminal cases that rely on their testimony, according to a report made public Monday.

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Unnamed_CCI_EPS

Dec. 31, 2015 – Updated 8:59 a.m.

About this story: This report was written by Edward Humes, the author of 13 nonfiction books and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his Orange County Register coverage of the military. The story is based on extensive reporting by the Register’s staff, including Tony Saavedra, David Ferrell, Kelly Puente, Tom Berg and Ian Wheeler, previously published stories and legal documents obtained by the newspaper since the arrest of Scott Dekraai after the worst mass shooting in Orange County history. Illustrations were drawn by Jeff Goertzen.

Read more at the Register’s ‘Inside the Snitch Tank’ site

Prologue

On his last day of freedom, Scott Dekraai spoke on the phone with his ex-wife. Let’s meet for coffee, he suggested.

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During his opening statements in the People v. Ramos and Cicinelli trial, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas wields a police baton, demonstrating how he believes Fullerton police officer Manuel Ramos threatened Kelly Thomas. ////ADDITIONAL INFO: kelly.thomas.120213 - Day: Monday - Date: 12/2/13 - Time: 10:17:38 AM - Original file name DSC_0409.NEF PHOTO BY, BRUCE CHAMBERS, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - SANTA ANA - A history-making trial starts Monday for two ex-Fullerton police officers accused in the beating death of a mentally ill, homeless man. At stake will be the freedom of former officers Manuel Ramos, 39, and Jay Cicinelli, 42, who are charged with fatally beating Kelly Thomas, 37, a schizophrenic transient, during an encounter captured by a surveillance camera at the Fullerton Transportation Center on July 5, 2011. Thomas died five later when he was removed from life support, Ramos, 39, is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter – the first time in Orange County history that a uniformed police officer has been charged with murder for an on-duty incident. Cicinelli, 41, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault and battery under color of authority. The trial before Superior Court Judge William Froeberg could take about six weeks.The prosecution is led by Tony Rackauckas, Orange County's district attorney since 1999, the first time in more than a dozen years that he's personally handled a trial in the courtroom. John Barnett, perhaps the county's best-known defense attorney, is representing Ramos. Michael Schwartz, who specializes in defending police officers, is representing Cicinelli.

During his opening statements in the People v. Ramos and Cicinelli, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas wielded a police baton to demonstrate how he believed Fullerton Officer Manuel Ramos threatened Kelly Thomas in 2011. (Bruce Chambers / File)

By David Ferrell and Tony Saavedra
December 27, 2015 – Updated 12:33 p.m.

Tough, street-smart Tony Rackauckas, who left gang-marred East Los Angeles to jump from the sky as a U.S. Army paratrooper, has spent the better part of his legal career in one battle or another.

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Orange County Seal

By Jessica Kwong / Staff Writer
Dec. 24, 2015 – Updated 9:25 a.m.

SANTA ANA – Employees with Orange County’s largest union are heading into the holidays assured of their biggest salary raise since the recession, under a three-year contract the Board of Supervisors approved Wednesday morning.

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OC Republican party

In the latest milestone of Orange County’s shifting political milieu, Republicans’ share of voter registration has fallen below 40 percent for the first time in the county’s history.(Register Photo)

By Martin Wisckol / Staff Writer
Dec. 9, 2015
Updated Dec. 10, 2015 – 7:54 a.m.

In the latest milestone of Orange County’s shifting political milieu, Republicans’ share of voter registration has fallen below 40 percent for the first time in the county’s history.

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Orange County Sheriff

By Kelly Puente and Tony Saavedra / Staff Writers
Nov. 19, 2015
Updated Nov. 20, 2015 – 12:36 p.m.

After four sheriff’s deputies refused to testify in court on grounds of self-incrimination, an Orange County judge on Wednesday granted a new trial for a gang member convicted of murder.

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Orange County District Attorney

By Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
Nov. 19, 2015
Updated Nov. 22, 2015 – 3:56 a.m.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday blasted a letter by more than three dozen former prosecutors and legal heavy-hitters calling for a federal investigation into the use of jailhouse informants as ill-timed and ill informed.

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Voice of OC: Legal Heavyweights Call for Federal Probe of Orange County DA

Orange County District Attorney

By Rex Dalton
November 18, 2015 at 2:00 PM

A coalition of national legal authorities is calling for a federal investigation of the Orange County District Attorney and Sheriff’s Department for alleged systemic violations of defendants’ rights involving jail informants.

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Orange County District Attorney

Sept. 30, 2015 – Updated 11:18 p.m.

ORANGE – A top official for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office had a one-word response Wednesday to widespread accusations that local prosecutors illegally use jailhouse informants and withhold evidence beneficial to the defense: “baloney.”

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The Orange County Register: O.C. wages up 9 percent, nation’s 5th largest hike

money

By Jonathan Lansner / Staff Columnist
Sept. 28, 2015 – Updated 12:00 a.m.

The start of the year was very good for Orange County paychecks.

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medal.p0318 --- 03/16/05 --- Photo by: H. Lorren Au Jr. / The Orange County Register. Helicopter pilot Deputy David Tilstra in the Boeing MD600N helicopter he was piloting when he was shot. He is winning a purple heart medal and medal of valor Friday at a Sheriff's Department banquet. Tilstra was the Orange County Sheriff Department pilot who continued tracking a gunman in Baker Canyon in June for an hour after being shot in the leg. (*confirm above with story. Not written as of now. txs, Lorren)

Deputy David Tilstra sits in the helicopter he was piloting when he was shot in 2004 over Baker Canyon. (File: H. Lorren Au, Jr. / Staff Photographer)

By Scott Schwebke / Staff Writer
Updated: Sept. 22, 2015 7:36 a.m.

Police shootings from helicopters, like what happened Friday when San Bernardino deputies opened fire during a freeway chase, are unusual but not unheard of in Orange County.

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Judge Thomas Goethals speaks to an attorney in his courtroom in superior court in Santa Ana. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:   JudgeGoethal – 06/19/15 – MARK RIGHTMIRE, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Judge Thomas Goethals handed the case to the California Attorney General’s Office, which is appealing on the grounds that the sheriff’s department — which oversees the jails and snitches — committed misconduct, not the district attorney’s office. (Mark Rightmire / File Photo)

By Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
July 22, 2015
Updated July 23, 2015 10:32 a.m.

Related stories

The U.S. Department of Justice is looking at the jailhouse informant scandal in Orange County, a move that could lead to a federal takeover of the District Attorney’s Office.

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Chapman University

By Margot Roosevelt / Staff Writer
June 24, 2015 – Updated 11:29 p.m.

Orange County will add more jobs this year than at any time in the past 15 years, buoyed in part by a reviving national economy, Chapman University economists predict.

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Orange County Superior Court

By Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
Updated: June 19, 2015 – 8:50 p.m.

A single missing document in a DUI case, noticed three months ago by a courtroom clerk, set off a probe by the FBI and local prosecutors that has grown to more than 1,000 cases of suspected record fixing.

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Orange County Superior Court

The probe allegedly centers on a court employee suspected of falsifying records to benefit defendants, recording dismissals where there were none, reducing charges and, in at least one case, making it appear a defendant served jail time.

By Tony Saavedra and Kelly Puente / Staff Writers
June 12, 2015
Updated June 13, 2015 – 8:16 a.m.

The FBI and county prosecutors are investigating fake plea deals and forgeries recorded in hundreds of DUI and misdemeanor traffic cases at Orange County Superior Court.

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InlandPolitics: Orange County: When politics corrupts the justice system

scales-of-justice

Monday, June 1, 2015 – 8:45 a.m.

In America, politics can and does infiltrate the justice system. It happens more than people realize.

Right now Orange County, California is front and center.

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Tony Rackauckas

DA Tony Rackuackas flanked by staffers Susan Kang Schroeder and Scott Simmons

By R. Scott Moxley
Mon. Jun. 1 2015 at 3:00 AM

All prayers inside the Orange County district attorney’s office (OCDA) that their 16-month jailhouse informant scandal would quietly disappear as just another empty, partisan controversy likely ended on May 31 thanks to veteran journalist Kevin D. Williamson, a frequent guest on Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC and NPR.

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National Review: When District Attorneys Attack

National Review

by Kevin D. Williamson
May 31, 2015 4:00 AM
@kevinNR

The GOP should turn its attention to prosecutorial misconduct.

As the old Vulcan proverb has it, “Only Nixon can go to China.” And only Nixon’s political heirs can fix the persistent — and terrifying — problems that continue to plague this country’s law-enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices.

Exhibit A: Orange County, California.

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Orange County District Attorney

By Shaun King
Friday, May 29, 2015 at 11:26 AM PDT

Between San Diego and Los Angeles is Orange County, California. With more than 3 million residents, it’s larger than 21 states. If Orange County were a separate country, its economy would be the 45th largest in the world. Now known for Disneyland, the county may soon be known for having one of the most corrupt justice systems in the world. The width and depth and duration of the corruption truly boggles the mind. A case that should’ve been open and shut has blown the lid off some deep secrets.

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M. Marc Kelly

Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly. (Los Angeles Times)

By Emily Foxhall
May 13, 2015

An Orange County judge who is being threatened with recall for giving a child molester a lenient prison sentence contends he is a respected jurist who is the victim of a “misleading” campaign.

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Voice of OC: State Watchdog to Fine Pulido $13,000 Over Property Swap

Tony Rackauckas+Miguel Pulido

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido (Right) and Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

By Adam Elmahrek
May 11, 2015 at 2:53 PM

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido has agreed to pay $13,000 in fines to the state’s political watchdog for several violations of state law related to a real estate deal he conducted with a city contractor.

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Recall

By Emily Foxhall
May 4, 2015

A group behind the effort to recall an Orange County Superior Court judge filed the necessary paperwork Monday with the county’s Registrar of Voters to get the process underway.

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Orange County Seal

April 22, 2015
Updated April 21, 2015 – 7:36 p.m.
By MEGHANN M. CUNIFF / STAFF WRITER

The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday formally called for Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly to resign because of his decision to sentence a child rapist to 10 years instead of the mandatory minimum of 25 years.

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Tony Rackauckas+Miguel Pulido

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Mayor Pulido sit together at the mayor’s table at the state of the city address in June. (Photo by: Adam Elmahrek/Voice of OC).

By Adam Elmahrek
April 15, 2015 at 7:28 AM

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas will be clearing Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido of any criminal wrongdoing related to a property swap between the mayor and a city contractor, according to sources with knowledge of the decision.

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Orange County Seal

Orange County officials Thursday called for the resignation of a superior court judge who cut 15 years off the minimum 25 year sentence of a man convicted of sodomizing a 3-year-old girl.

By Emily Foxhall
April 9, 2015

In more than 15 years on the bench, Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly said, he had never run into a case like the 19-year-old child molester facing a minimum 25-year prison term.

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gavel

By Abby Phillip
April 7, 2015 at 4:48 PM

In December, a jury convicted 20-year-old Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl. In California, that charge comes with a minimum sentence of 25 years to life.

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Orange County Seal

By Emily Foxhall, Doug Smith and Anh Do
March 27, 2015

On paper, the race for Orange County supervisor seemed to be Lou Correa’s to win.

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Orange County Population Growth Chart

By Keegan Kyle / Staff Writer
March 27, 2015 – Updated 9:47 p.m.

Orange County’s population growth is little more than a trickle these days, according to figures released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Voice of OC: State AG Will Investigate Alleged DA Misconduct in Dekraai Case

California Department of Justice

By REX DALTON
March 20, 2015 at 5:41 PM

The state Attorney General’s Office announced today it will conduct “an independent investigation” of alleged misconduct by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackaukas’ office in the prosecution of mass murderer Scott Evans Dekraai.

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Tony Rackauckas

O.C. Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas’ office has been removed from the Seal Beach murder case. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

By Christopher Goffard
March 20, 2015

For 3 1/2 years, Paul Wilson has waited for his wife’s killer to face trial, a wait protracted by lengthy evidentiary hearings probing the mishandling of the case by authorities.

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Orange County Register: John Moorlach prevails in race to fill state Senate seat

John Moorlach

State Sen.-elect John Moorlach, the former county supervisor, took 50.3 percent of the vote, winning the majority needed to avoid a runoff in the four-person race. He had 4,600 more votes than Assemblyman Don Wagner, who had 44.1 percent. (File: Mindy Schauer – Staff Photographer)

By MARTIN WISCKOL / STAFF WRITER
March 19, 2015 – Updated 9:29 p.m.

John Moorlach’s successful bid to fill Orange County’s vacant state Senate seat became a mathematical certainty Thursday evening, with all ballots on hand tallied by election workers and only a smattering of late mail ballots expected to arrive today.

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Tony Rackauckas

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas interviews a witness during the preliminary hearing into Kelly Thomas’ death in 2012. (FILE: Joshua Sudock, Staff Photographer)

March 16, 2015
Updated March 17, 2015 8:23 a.m.
By Tony Saavedra, Kelly Puente and Tom Berg / Staff Writers

One thing about District Attorney Tony Rackauckas: He’s a street fighter who can take a punch.

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Tony Rackaukas

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said it’s clear that deputies’ testimony was “inconsistent” with statements they made in previous hearings. (SAM GANGWER, FILE PHOTO)

March 14, 2015
Updated March 15, 2015 – 8:22 a.m.
BY KELLY PUENTE / STAFF WRITER

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas conceded Saturday his office made mistakes prosecuting the county’s deadliest killer, but disagrees with a judge’s decision to remove the agency from the case.

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Los Angeles Times: O.C. prosecutors steering cases away from Judge Thomas Goethals

Thomas Goethals

Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals has been the focus of 57 disqualification requests from prosecutors since February 2014. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

By Christopher Goffard
March 13, 2015

For years, Thomas Goethals has weighed the fates of some of Orange County’s most violent criminals. But since the judge began presiding over heated hearings probing the misuse of jailhouse informants, dozens of prosecutors have steered criminal cases away from his courtroom.

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LATimes: Orange County D.A. is removed from Scott Dekraai murder trial

Orange County District Attorney

By Christopher Goffard
March 12, 2015

In a stinging rebuke, a criminal court judge removed the Orange County district attorney’s office from one of its highest-profile murder cases, saying prosecutors had violated mass shooter Scott Dekraai’s rights by repeatedly failing to turn over important evidence.

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OCRegister: Correa won’t contest O.C. election loss in court

Orange County Seal

Feb. 22, 2015 – 4:25 p.m.
By CITY NEWS SERVICE

SANTA ANA — Former state Sen. Lou Correa raised multiple questions about mistakes and possible fraud in his narrow loss to Andrew Do for Orange County supervisor, but he said it would be too costly to try to overturn the results in a court.

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LATimes: Andrew Do retains O.C. supervisor seat as recount of votes ends

Andrew Do

Andrew Do on his first day on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Do will keep his seat, now that a vote recount has ended in his favor. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

By Anh Do
February 13, 2015

A recount for Orange County’s first district supervisor race ended Friday night, with no change after a review of nearly 6,250 vote-by-mail ballots, officials said.

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Orange County Seal

Feb. 9, 2015
Updated 8:38 p.m.
By MEGHANN M. CUNIFF / STAFF WRITER

The first day of the recount in the 1st District Board of Supervisors election will be the last after Monday ended with no changes to Republican Andrew Do’s 43-vote victory.

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LATimes: O.C. supervisor race: ‘Voting irregularities’ alleged; recount looms

Andrew Do

Andrew Do on his first day on the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Do beat former state Sen. Lou Correa for the seat by a 43-vote margin; an official recount is underway. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

By Anh Do and Matt Hamilton
February 4, 2015

A former state senator who lost a special election for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors said he has asked for a recount because of concerns over “voting irregularities.”

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LATimes: O.C. supervisor’s victory heralds rise of Asian American politicians

Andrew Do
Republican Andrew Do defeated well-known Democrat Lou Correa by a razor-thin margin in Tuesday’s special election for the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

By Christopher Goffard and Anh Do
January 31, 2015

Few Orange County politicians command the name recognition of Lou Correa, who has held seats in both houses of the California Legislature and on the county’s Board of Supervisors.

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Orange County Seal

Updated – Jan. 31, 2015 9:16 a.m.
By MEGHANN M. CUNIFF / STAFF WRITER

Andrew Do was elected to the 1st District Board of Supervisors seat by 43 votes after the vote-counting wrapped up Friday, leaving Lou Correa, one of Orange County’s longest-standing politicians, jobless for the moment.

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Orange Juice Blog

Monday, December 29, 2014 – 12:30 p.m.

Our friends at The Orange Juice Blog have penned their final compelling summation of the events surrounding two go-nowhere District Attorney investigations into a coordinated effort to engineer the sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds to developers.

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Orange County Seal

The county has hired an outside law firm to suggest what discipline, if any, should be handed out to officials who approved the contracts.

BY MEGHANN M. CUNIFF / STAFF WRITER
Published: Dec. 16, 2014 Updated: 11:00 p.m.

A longtime county administrator set to become Orange County’s temporary chief executive faces a legal review related to nearly $1 million worth of no-bid contracts issued by the county over the past five years.

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UTSanDiego: How far will cop unions go to halt reform?

Private Eye

Union law firm’s ‘candidate researchers’ face felony charges for Costa Mesa incident

By Steven Greenhut
Dec. 12, 2014

The arrest this week of two ex-cop private investigators — charged with felonies related to their alleged attempt to frame a Costa Mesa city councilman for a false DUI — is about more than the disturbing tactics of two hired guns. It offers insight into the way some police unions across California intimidate political opponents into silence.

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VoiceofOC: DA Arrests Investigators Who Tried to Ensnare Councilmen

Orange County District Attorney

Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2014 1:11 pm | Updated: 7:59 pm, Thu Dec 11, 2014.
By ADAM ELMAHREK

The Orange County District Attorney’s office Thursday charged two private investigators with multiple felonies related to their alleged efforts to trap two Costa Mesa City Council members in embarrassing or illegal acts, according to a DA news release.

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OCRegister: If deputies have a gripe about the boss, they can go ‘Yelp’ on them

AOCDS-Logo

Union critiques of superiors at Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office will be anonymous and public. Not everyone is thrilled.

BY SALVADOR HERNANDEZ / STAFF WRITER
Published: Dec. 8, 2014 Updated: 9:49 p.m.

Hundreds of Orange County deputies and investigators will grade their bosses at the Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Offices, then publicly share those opinions in the union’s monthly newsletter.

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VoiceofOC: DA Fair Board Investigation Finds No Criminal Conduct

Orange County District Attorney

Related Documents: DA 2011 Report on Fairgrounds

By NORBERTO SANTANA JR.
Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 6:00 am | Updated: 9:38 am, Thu Dec 4, 2014.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has once again cleared the Orange County Fair Board’s former Republican majority of any criminal wrongdoing relating to their efforts in 2009 to privatize the 163-acre fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

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Sandra Hutchens

O.C. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens

BY TONY SAAVEDRA / STAFF WRITER
Published: Dec. 5, 2014 Updated: 8:44 p.m.

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens this week joined the county’s top prosecutor in defending the use of jailhouse informants placed in cells wired to capture recorded confessions.

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VoiceofOC: 20 Years Later, Supervisors Might Rollback Key Reform From Bankruptcy

Orange County Board of Supervisors

The Orange County Board of Supervisors. (Nick Gerda / Voice of OC)

Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 6:00 am | Updated: 10:06 am, Wed Dec 3, 2014.
By NORBERTO SANTANA JR.

As the 20th anniversary of Orange County’s municipal bankruptcy approaches, county supervisors are on the verge of reversing the centerpiece reform that emerged from the $1.5-billion financial disaster.

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OCRegister: O.C. is less Republican than it used to be

Campaigns

Republicans had a good mid-term election nationwide and in Orange County wrested two state legislative seats from Democrats. But a Register analysis of Prop. 47 found a broader ongoing shift of county voters. We’re less Republican than we used to be.

BY MARTIN WISCKOL AND KEEGAN KYLE / STAFF WRITERS
Published: Nov. 17, 2014 Updated: Nov. 18, 2014 6:55 a.m.

Orange County continued its trend toward an electorate that looks more like the rest of the Democratic state when it supported Proposition 47 – which reduces some non-violent felonies to misdemeanors – with 53 percent of the vote.

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Orange County Seal

BY KELLIE MEJDRICH / STAFF WRITER
Published: Sept. 30, 2014 Updated: Oct. 1, 2014 6:40 a.m.

Orange County supervisors Tuesday approved increasing the number of passengers allowed at John Wayne Airport by 9.2 percent within six years and permitting 10 more flights a day.

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VoiceofOC: Supervisors Turn Down Independent Ethics Oversight

Orange County Seal

Posted: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 8:35 pm | Updated: 8:02 am, Wed Sep 17, 2014.
By NICK GERDA

The County Board of Supervisors Tuesday rejected, for the second time since last year, a grand jury proposal for stronger ethics oversight of county government.

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OCRegister: Orange County Assessor Webster Guillory charged with false filing

Webster Guillory

Official didn’t personally witness signatures being collected, though he signed the form saying he did, according to the DA.

BY SEAN EMERY and TONY SAAVEDRA / STAFF WRITERS
Published: Sept. 9, 2014 Updated: 10:05 p.m.

Prosecutors charged Orange County Assessor Webster J. Guillory on Tuesday with filing false nomination papers, alleging that during his re-election bid, he claimed to have personally collected signatures on petitions that were circulated by an associate.

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InlandPolitics: Political (water) consultant candidate for O.C. water board

waterdrop

Saturday, August 23, 2014 – 10:30 a.m.

From political/campaign consultant to water consultant! Really?

The political blogs down in the O.C. are buzzing this week over the new candidacy of campaign consultant Dave Ellis.

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OCRegister: Public pensions: Good news, bad news

Pension Reform

Annual returns are looking good for many funds, but they are still in a big hole when it comes to being able to meet obligations.

By TERI SFORZA / STAFF COLUMNIST
Published: Aug. 3, 2014 Updated: 6:20 p.m.

Public investment types may be rubbing their hands together muttering, “money, money, money,” after stellar returns over the past year, but some have a lot more to crow about than others.

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OCRegister: O.C. Grand jury finds $3.3 billion retirement hole

Pension Reform

Solutions to filling the void in pension-benefit funding often pit unions against city officials.

By TERI SFORZA / STAFF COLUMNIST
Published: July 5, 2014 Updated: July 6, 2014 8:45 a.m.

So let’s start with the bracing news: Orange County cities have promised their workers more than $3.3 billion in retirement benefits that they do not have.

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OCRegister: Police fail to report many deadly shootings

Murder Body Outline

A Register investigation shows that one in five fatal incidents across region isn’t disclosed.

BY KEEGAN KYLE / STAFF WRITER
Published: June 28, 2014 Updated: June 30, 2014 10:58 a.m.

California’s system for tracking deadly police shootings is plagued by confusion and inadequate oversight, further clouding public knowledge of an officer’s greatest power.

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OCRegister: GOP dominance in O.C. weakens with demographic changes

GOP

Republicans once touted Orange County as “America’s Most Republican County” and the area was known nationwide as a GOP stronghold and fundraising Mecca. Could it one day be blue?

BY MARTIN WISCKOL / STAFF WRITER
Published: May 30, 2014 Updated: 7:12 p.m.

Republicans once touted Orange County as “America’s Most Republican County” and the area was known nationwide as a GOP stronghold and fundraising Mecca.

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OCRegister: Former state lawmaker exonerated in OC Fair sale investigation

Orange County District Attorney

BY SCOTT MARTINDALE / STAFF WRITER
Published: May 28, 2014 Updated: 7:19 p.m.

COSTA MESA – A former state lawmaker accused of improperly lobbying for the 2009 sale of the Orange County fairgrounds has been exonerated of wrongdoing, the latest development in an ongoing criminal probe of the failed sales effort.

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VoiceofOC: OCTA Fires Lobbying Firm After Record Fine for Illegal Gifts

Orange County Seal

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2014 12:08 pm | Updated: 7:39 am, Tue Mar 11, 2014.
By NICK GERDA

Orange County transportation officials fired their Sacramento lobbying firm Monday in the wake of a massive fine against the firm for giving illegal gifts to state lawmakers.

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OCRegister: O.C. GOP takes a pass in Assembly District 55 race

BY MARTIN WISCKOL
STAFF COLUMNIST
Published: March 7, 2014 Updated: March 8, 2014 7:52 a.m.

Over the years, the Orange County GOP has sometimes made it a point of pride to rally around an O.C. candidate in state Legislature districts that straddle county lines.

Not this time.

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LATimes: O.C. gets more than 1,000 concealed gun applications in just weeks

Sandra Hutchens

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / May 4, 2009)

By Jill Cowan
March 3, 2014, 7:46 p.m.

Orange County has been deluged with more than 1,000 concealed weapons applications since rolling back restrictions in the wake of an appellate court ruling, and officials are preparing to hire more than a dozen retired deputies to handle the crush.

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LATimes: D.A. ran illegal snitch operation in O.C. jail, attorneys say

Orange County District Attorney

By Paloma Esquivel
February 27, 2014, 4:38 p.m.

Attorneys for the man charged with killing eight people in a Seal Beach salon three years ago have accused Orange County prosecutors and sheriff’s deputies of running an unconstitutional jailhouse informant operation that ensnared their client and other inmates.

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OCRegister: Orange County strips executive of elections oversight

Orange County Seal

BY MIKE REICHER / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Published: Feb. 25, 2014 Updated: 9:36 p.m.

Orange County’s chief operating officer, who was convicted of election fraud in the 1990s, was stripped this week of his position overseeing the county elections office.

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OCRegister: O.C. sheriff eases rules for carrying a concealed weapon

OC Sheriff badge

Local applicants seeking a permit to carry a concealed weapon now only have to say that they need one for self-defense or personal safety.

BY DAVID MONTERO / STAFF WRITER
Published: Feb. 19, 2014 Updated: Feb. 20, 2014 1:59 p.m.

The Orange County sheriff loosened requirements Wednesday for obtaining a concealed-weapons permit in light of a recent federal appellate court decision that deemed many urban counties in California to be overly restrictive in saying who can and can’t carry a concealed weapon.

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InlandPolitics: Greasing a lucrative criminal defense contract ? – Part 2

SBCO Seal

Related Stories:
InlandPolitics: Greasing a lucrative criminal defense contract ? – Part 1
The Sentinel: Allegations of irregularities in awarding of $40 million indigent defense contract

Monday, February 17, 2014 – 02:00 p.m.

In part one of the series we looked at the stacked contract bidding process to handout four, three-year contracts totaling some $40 million in taxpayer dollars.

But there’s more to the story.

A human side of the story.

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Orange County Seal

Posted by MIKE REICHER
Published: Feb. 14, 2014 Updated: Feb. 16, 2014 1:17 p.m.

Most agree that taxpayers should pay police well for risking their lives in the line of duty.

But should they be paid for the time they spend strapping on their gun belt and bulletproof vest? Or tying their boot laces? What if the department insists they dress in the stationhouse, instead of at home?

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scales-of-justice
Related Documents Public Defender’s Motion

Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:23 pm | Updated: 10:11 am, Mon Feb 17, 2014.
By REX DALTON

A huge cache of records alleging the Orange County district attorney’s office and law enforcement agencies utilized a long-running informant program to violate defendants’ rights was unsealed last week in Orange County Superior Court.

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OCRegister: Supervisors chair gets free car plus ‘two-Mercedes’ car allowance

Orange County Seal

Posted by MIKE REICHER
Published: Feb. 14, 2014 Updated: 1:49 p.m.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson zips around town in a silver Toyota Prius – a $44,000 plug-in hybrid – which he gets to drive for free.

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InlandPolitics: Political advisor to Ramos, McMahon resigns position

Politics

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 – 10:15 a.m.

The political advisor to San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos and Sheriff-Coroner John McMahon has resigned his long-time appointed position on the Orange County Fair Board.

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VoiceofOC: The Story Behind Orange County’s Hard Line Against Deputy Sheriffs

Orange County Seal

Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:41 pm | Updated: 8:35 am, Wed Jan 29, 2014.
By NORBERTO SANTANA JR.

What a difference a county line makes.

In San Diego, a majority Republican Board of Supervisors is handing out big salary raises to sheriff’s deputies. Meanwhile, Orange County’s all-Republican Board of Supervisors is not only holding the line on salaries but demanding that deputies pay significantly more toward their pensions.

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OCRegister: Million-dollar perk boosts firefighter overtime

Orange County Seal

By TERI SFORZA
tsforza@ocregister.com
Published: Jan. 24, 2014 Updated: Jan. 25, 2014 8:17 a.m.

Orange County firefighters can boost overtime pay by counting vacation hours as time worked – a lucrative perk that costs taxpayers millions, and which at least one elected official says must go.

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OCRegister: Pension board for public employees takes $450 million risk

OCERS

Orange County Public Employees Retirement System officials are hoping that a loan to little-known companies with poor credit ratings will supercharge the pension fund’s earnings.

BY MIKE REICHER / STAFF WRITER
Published: Jan. 23, 2014 Updated: Jan. 24, 2014 7:57 a.m.

In the past year, the Orange County Public Employees Retirement System board has agreed to loan $450 million to companies in the U.S., Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, mostly little-known companies with poor credit ratings that need cash.

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LATimes: Kelly Thomas verdict: FBI to examine trial evidence, testimony

FBI

By Paloma Esquivel and Robert J. Lopez
January 13, 2014, 9:26 p.m.

The FBI said Monday that it would examine evidence in the Kelly Thomas police beating death trial to “see if further investigation is warranted.”

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OCRegister: Kelly Thomas case could hurt D.A. politically

Tony Rackauckas

Rackauckas

BY MARTIN WISCKOL / STAFF WRITER
Published: Jan. 13, 2014 Updated: Jan. 14, 2014 1:17 p.m.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas’ failure to win a conviction in the Kelly Thomas case, combined with two other recent court rulings against him, leaves Rackauckas more politically vulnerable if he draws an opponent in his re-election bid.

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InlandPolitics: Drama surrounding Upland law firm escalates

Legal

Sunday, November 24, 2013 – 10:00 a.m.

The drama surrounding the, now-closed, Upland-based law firm of Lackie, Dammeier, McGill and Ethir doesn’t seem to be abating in any way.

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Voice of OC: OC Pension Board Backs Off Major Hike in Public Agency Payments

Orange County Seal

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013 10:39 pm | Updated: 11:33 pm, Mon Nov 18, 2013.
By NICK GERDA

Following months of intense debates over how to best handle $5.7 billion in unfunded retirement obligations, leaders of Orange County’s local pension system have struck a deal to avoid a major surge in public agency payments that officials warned could bankrupt small cities.

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DailyBulletin: Dissolved Upland law firm target of new allegations

Lackie Dammeier

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 11/14/13, 7:40 PM PST | Updated: 1 hr ago

An Upland law firm accused of double and triple-billing police union clients across Southern California and bullying two Costa Mesa councilmen now stands accused of planting a GPS tracking device on one of those councilmen’s cars.

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