Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who was criticized in a January report, said the grand jury never interviewed her. (Marc Martin / Los Angeles Times / March 18, 2008)
By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
May 9, 2013, 11:57 p.m.
The first grand jury report described Orange County as being a “hotbed of corruption, conflict of interest and abuse of authority” while the next blamed political leaders for the “implosion” of the county’s health plan for the poor.
This week, jurors fired off another round, blasting the county for fostering a climate of harassment where department heads were more concerned with “covering up” problems than solving them.
If the plan with the caustic reports was aimed at catching the full attention of county supervisors, it worked — although probably not in the way it was intended.
Supervisors, who have been targeted in the reports, this week unanimously voted against a $20,000 increase in the grand jury’s budget.
County supervisors brushed off the critical reports as being unfair, inaccurate and sensational and questioned the credibility of the grand jury, a panel of 19 or 23 members depending on the county’s population that serves a one-year term.
One supervisor said the panel was “incompetent.”
“We’re here to make it a better county,” Supervisor John Moorlach said. “Not to give it a national blemish.”
On April 15, the grand jury released a 32-page report titled “A Call for Ethical Standards: Corruption in Orange County,” which came with a recommendation for creating an ethics commission.
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