MOORLACH UPDATE — Voice of OC — May 23, 2013

At my request, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens provided an AB 109 update at Tuesday’s Board meeting (Agenda Item Number 59). AB 109 became effective October 1, 2011. Realignment is a good policy discussion. It means realigning services that the state provides down to the counties to do those services with (theoretically) the same amount of funding. The dirty secret about realignment, I believe, is that it is a way for the state to manipulate its budget around Prop. 98 (1988), which requires that the state spend 39 percent of its budget on education. The problem with AB 109, however, is the lack of funding. Prop. 30 (2012), Governor Brown’s successful sales and income tax increase ballot measure, included a constitutional amendment guaranteeing funding to the counties to pay for this particular realignment. Unfortunately, it looks like Orange County will receive $10 million less than the projected actual costs to the impacted departments. But, there is an opportunity. If the counties can do the job and achieve better outcomes, then the taxpayers win. That should be and, in the OC, is the goal. The Voice of OC covers a good portion of the presentation in the first piece below. Now, if the state could push down more services to the OC, then there could be a point where we don’t really need Sacramento. As Orange County has a population greater than that of 20 states, it would be more efficient if Federal programs were directly funded to Orange County, bypassing Sacramento, and thus eliminating the middleman costs that the Capitol extracts for its administrative services. This would be another win for the taxpayers.

The second Voice of OC piece deals with a vocal grantee and vendor for the County (Agenda Item Number 72). I was not amused with the strategy employed to garner a larger contract. Endorsing this approach may encourage other vendors to do the same, and that is not the most professional way to conduct business. For clarification, a few years back I did not have a problem with the vendor’s name. I did not know what the definition of the word promotora was and politely inquired. If I didn’t know, perhaps many constituents did not. That was the extent of my inquiry. As to the $500,000 outreach contract, it was actually a one-time grant. As a report was referenced in the first article, if you are interested in the report provided by the Health Care Agency on this matter at the May 7 Board meeting, go to http://www.ocgov.com/Web_Publisher_Sam/Agenda05_07_2013_files/images/BOS%20PRESENTATION%20OE%20FINAL.PDF. Then you can be the judge as to the necessity of the extra funding that was approved.

Prisoner Realignment Spurs Campaign to Rehabilitate Convicts

By NICK GERDA

In the midst of the state transferring thousands of prisoners to county jails, Orange County officials are rapidly revamping their approach to dealing with convicted criminals.

To avoid running out of bed space, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has been trying to prevent nonviolent offenders from returning by offering drug abuse classes, GED training, counseling and support after they leave jail.

“We find we do all those great things in custody and then we release them into the community with no net,” Sheriff Sandra Hutchens told county supervisors during an update Tuesday.

“We’ve gone from doing zero, really,” as a state, giving released inmates $100 but “no job and no support network and wondering why they reoffend,” Hutchens said.

Hutchens also said programs for drug addicts can be more cost-effective than jail and called on local universities to help with research.

“We need the academic community to look at this, and really, we need to look at what works — programming that works,” said Hutchens.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s move in October 2011 to shift thousands of state prisoners to county jails has had numerous impacts on local communities.

Chief among them is how counties manage their inmate population so they don’t run out of room. “Every day they are juggling inmates and trying to find bed space,” Hutchens said.

Those numbers are forcing a shift in approach. Officials are trying a more holistic approach to convicts in the hope that they don’t re-offend.

“We really need to ramp up that focus on what works,” said Supervisor Pat Bates.

Sheriff Hutchens criticized the state for largely leaving counties on their own to sort through which programs work best. “There wasn’t a lot of time put into what programs were best to reduce recidivism,” she said.

Prisoner realignment under AB 109 has also come with plenty of controversy.

As more of the responsibility for housing prisoners shifts to counties, some law enforcement leaders are ringing alarm bells, arguing that public safety is being threatened.

A recent report by the Orange County Chiefs of Police and Sheriff’s Association linked realignment to a 9-percent increase in crime rates countywide.

Hutchens, however, took issue with those findings.

“The reality is no one can point to AB 109 and say our property crimes are going up because of AB 109,” Hutchens said. Crime rates started rising before the prisoners were shifted, she said. “It could be a factor, but we don’t really have the data to show it is.”

Supervisor Todd Spitzer also cast doubt on the report. “I feel like these comments that are being exchanged in the media have the potential to inflame our constituency,” said Spitzer.

Supervisor John Moorlach added, “It appears that these same trends are happening in other states.”

Among the effects of realignment is an increase to the county’s healthcare costs for inmates.

Orange County pays millions of dollars for prisoner healthcare, Spitzer said, urged the county to lobby for protections against paying for expensive “elective” medical procedures like sex change operations.

Persuading a Democrat-controlled Sacramento to support conservative Orange County on this issue, however, could prove difficult.

Another potential impact could be to the county’s contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house immigration detainees. The contract could be at risk if the U.S. Supreme Court requires another 10,000 state prisoners to be released, Hutchens warned.

“Are you ready for another 800 or 900 individuals to come [to Orange County]?” Hutchens asked supervisors. “That would cause us to decrease the ICE numbers, absolutely,” she added. “It’s going to cost the county more money, so that’s not going to be a good thing.”

And because of limited space and an expected influx of potential arrests over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the sheriff said her department will likely ask police departments to hold detainees in local jails this weekend.

As a result of realignment, about 30,000 state prisoners were transferred to county jails across California, Hutchens said. At this point, about 1,000 of those state prisoners remain in Orange County jails out of around 6,700 to 6,800 total inmates under county lockup, she said.

Hutchens added that many state prisoners are under protective custody and must be kept separate, meaning that not all of the county’s 7,157 jail beds can be filled.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

Supervisors Restore Funding to Latino Health Access

By NORBERTO SANTANA JR.

As America Bracho walked to the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ dais on Tuesday, Chairman Shawn Nelson openly warned her, “We have a rule: Never talk yourself out of a victory.”

Bracho, an outspoken doctor and activist who heads Latino Health Access, the Santa Ana-based health care nonprofit, had seemingly turned supervisors around after more than a year of conflict.

“We want to thank you for your investment in programs like ours,” Bracho told supervisors during their weekly meeting just before they approved contracts for more than $2.7 million in mental health outreach programs.

“We want the county to protect what works,” Bracho said.

Among the contract approvals was about $300,000 for LHA’s promotores services, a health outreach program the organization has run for two decades but which recently became an issue among supervisors and county staff, who had cut LHA’s funding for the program.

The victory Nelson was referring to is that while the approximately $300,000 allocation approved by supervisors Tuesday is less than the nearly $500,000 LHA has received in recent years, it is better than the around $100,000 that county staff had been recommending.

Promotores have long played a key role in administering health care in Latino and other minority communities, acting as liaison for people who because of economic and cultural reasons do not have ready access to the health care system. The concept began to be widely used in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.

Bracho introduced the program to Orange County in the early 1990s, and it has become the cornerstone of LHA’s outreach efforts in places like Santa Ana. Workers do tasks like going door to door, approaching people in supermarkets, conducting health classes and even babysitting while a parent visits the doctor.

LHA promotores make contact with some 40,000 people a year, and their outreach efforts mainly cover diabetes prevention and management, obesity, alcoholism, mental health, elder care and women’s health.

The organization also became a force in Santa Ana, pushing city leaders to concentrate more efforts on youth and neighborhood improvement as well as empowerment.

But LHA ran into trouble back in June 2011, when Nelson and Supervisor John Moorlach questioned in public session whether it was a good idea to have the word “Latino” in Latino Health Access as well as to use the Spanish word promotores to describe LHA’s mental health outreach workers.

After that public meeting, Bracho said, county Health Care Agency staff prodded her to quietly get rid of the word promotores to soothe supervisors, who both insist they never followed up on their public questions.

Bracho refused, saying the word reflects a successful program with Latin American roots that shouldn’t be gutted because of racial politics. Numerous other Latino leaders, such as state Sen. Lou Correa and Assemblyman Jose Solorio, also protested the move.

Eventually, a compromise was reached, and the title of the program was changed to Community Outreach-Promotora.

But later, Bracho said, HCA staff fired back at her for her opposition by abruptly deciding not to renew a $500,000 outreach contract for LHA this year.

HCA officials instead reallocated the funds to other nonprofits that LHA had trained for mental health outreach work. Some groups said they hadn’t even asked for the grant funds.

Bracho protested the action publicly to county supervisors, bringing hundreds of supporters to the supervisors’ chambers during a tense session earlier this year.

For many of the neighborhood mothers who attended the meeting, the situation became ugly even before the debate began. Many criticized sheriff’s deputies who oversee security at the chambers for the manner in which they escorted them into an overflow chamber. Many of the mothers said they could see hundreds of empty chairs in the main chambers while others accused deputies of being terse, even rude.

During the meeting, Bracho publicly confronted supervisors, imploring them to follow what the LHA data showed — that the program had exceeded every benchmark.

Supervisors clearly were impressed.

Supervisor Janet Nguyen became LHA’s main advocate on the board, effectively making a public case to her colleagues on the civic impact of the promotores program.

Pointing to the large outreach numbers, Nguyen this week reminded her colleagues that “LHA has made significant strides in connecting with minority communities.”

Nguyen had won a strong ally on the issue when Supervisor Todd Spitzer earlier this month challenged HCA staff from the dais to find more money in the budget, prompting a reply that the agency did keep a 10-percent contingency fund for emergencies. Spitzer told staff they should be spending every dollar dedicated for mental health outreach on just that, not on contingencies.

Eventually, Nguyen secured the support of her colleagues to reauthorize an additional allocation of $200,000 on the mental health outreach efforts, noting that the program largely affected her own district in the central county.

In the interim weeks, HCA staff allocated the additional funds into the program, increasing the total allocation to $300,000.

Although LHA is getting less than it did in previous years, the overall community may be getting more. Because of the questioning, county supervisors are now moving to spend more on mental health outreach in these communities.

In approving the contract raise, Moorlach warned Bracho about confronting the Board of Supervisors publicly through the media, citing PBS SoCaL producer David Nazar’s recent report on the controversy.

Moorlach told Bracho she had him when she showed him her outreach numbers, which considerably exceeded the contracted number.

Bracho credited the supervisors’ vote, saying, “LHA remains your partner.”

Please contact Norberto Santana Jr. directly at nsantana and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/norbertosanana.

FIVE-YEAR LOOK BACKS

May 22

1998

I inserted myself into a local issue in a different county to make a point. I submitted a Letter to the Editor to The Daily Democrat, a newspaper that has been serving all of Yolo County since 1857, titled “Who has the political power?” The election result would conclude that my arguments were accurate: voters do not like to give up elected positions.

Perhaps politics can be melted down to power and control. Who will have the power to appoint and control the treasurer of Yolo County? Should it be the Board of Supervisors or the electorate?

The citizens of Orange County were given the same choice after their bankruptcy filing. They voted overwhelmingly to retain their right to elect their county treasurer. Why did this occur, even after the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history? The citizens wanted the control and did not want to give up their right to vote for their representatives in county government. The citizens of Yolo County should take the same posture.

In any governmental structure you need elected officials with the proper competence, oversight and independence. The candidates for treasurer should meet certain minimal requirements to demonstrate they provide the proper skills and experience for the position. The treasurer should appoint qualified individuals to an oversight committee and should prepare regular treasury management reports. And the treasurer should be independent of the auditor-controller.

Checks and balances are critical to any internal control system for the accounting functions of a county. There may be cost savings in consolidating, but poor internal controls could be more expensive in the long term.

I would strongly encourage the voters of Yolo County to retain their right to vote for the county treasurer and that they exercise that right in the most diligent manner possible. Who you elect is critical. Orange County learned that lesson the expensive way. But in Orange County almost all of the elected officials in office in 1994 were considered culpable. Do your homework for every candidate running for public office and vote intelligently on June 2.

John Moorlach

Orange County treasurer-tax collector

May 23

2008

Brian Joseph of the OC Register, with Ronald Campbell contributing, provided a detailed analysis of an organization affiliated with the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), of which I serve on its Executive Committee. A few weeks prior to this article, “Public agency, private benefit – An obscure public agency operates outside the public view, often awarding financial benefits to private business. Critics call it a bad way to do the public’s business,” the Board of Supervisors invited then CSAC CEO Paul McIntosh to do a little explaining. This topic still reverberates and came up again at Tuesday’s Board meeting (Agenda Item Number 93). At the time, the Board was in support of opposing ballot propositions and caused considerable consternation for me and my colleagues. Here is this investigative piece in full:

What do $3.70 lattes, an Indian casino and a BMW dealership have in common?

An obscure California agency thinks they’re all public benefits worth tax-free money.

The agency, the California Statewide Communities Development Authority, issued about $4.2 billion in tax free bonds in 2007, ranking behind only the states of California, Ohio and New York.

County supervisors and city council members statewide formed the agency. Last year, their political associations pocketed $4 million from it.

The Bay Area businessmen who staff it made even more. They collected $10 million.

For 20 years, they have operated out of the public view, using a public agency to help finance their special interests while siphoning off tax revenue for projects of dubious public value.

They have taken a public agency and made it a private benefit.

"This is the ultimate in invisible government," said Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby, who’s been suspicious of the agency since he was a Fullerton City Councilman in the 1990s. "It’s kind of the worst of both worlds," he said, "public and private."

According to its Web site, California Communities only funds projects of "tangible public benefit," projects that "contribute to social and economic growth and improve overall quality of life" in California. And indeed, the agency has backed numerous affordable housing and hospital projects of unquestionable public value.

But California Communities also has borrowed on behalf of private enterprises, a legal transaction that helps those businesses compete against less-connected rivals.

In Emeryville, their tax-free bonds financed a 60,000-square foot roastery that helped Peet’s Coffee and Tea expand from Northern California to the rest of the nation.

In the Coachella Valley, their bonds paid for a casino hotel at the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians’ Fantasy Springs Resort.

In Elk Grove, they financed impact fees for a BMW dealership.

In Richmond, they refinanced a Chevron refinery’s pollution controls.

In Carlsbad, they paid to expand the Gemological Institute of America, the "World’s Most Trusted Name in Diamond Grading."

And in Orange County, their bonds bought a new athletics and fine arts center for St. Mary and All Angels School, a private institution serving less than 700 students.

The people behind California Communities defend their approach as 100 percent legal and note that local governments and state authorities must sign off on their proposals. They say the projects that benefit private companies were approved to create jobs.

"This is actually an area in which there’s always debate around the country about whether government should play a role in helping create expansion opportunities for businesses," said Chris McKenzie, vice chairman of the California Communities board and executive director of the League of California Cities.

"Congress and the state have not established any kind of threshold. They haven’t even said you have to create one new job. What they’ve said is the issuer has to be convinced that this is necessary in order to preserve this economic activity."

And California Communities officials say they carefully study each project to ensure it creates a public benefit worthy of tax-free status.

"Expanding jobs," McKenzie said, "expanding the flow of capital into California from outside of California, creates, most people would say, a public benefit."

Their bonds may have also lowered your energy bill. California Communities financed pollution control equipment at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station near San Clemente.

"The ability to issue tax free bonds … lowers the annual cost to our customers on an ongoing basis," Gil Alexander, a Southern California Edison spokesman, said in an e-mail.

But there are consequences when the agency issues bonds: The state loses tax revenue.

Exactly how much is difficult to calculate because of the many variables.

Assuming that only Californians of average income purchased California Communities bonds and that interest rates ranged from 3 to 6 percent, the Orange County Register calculated that the state loses $24 million to $49 million a year in taxes on the agency’s outstanding debt.

But that number is very rough. Bond buyers tend to be wealthy people in high tax brackets, which would increase the amount of lost tax revenue. And as California Communities itself notes, it’s very difficult to estimate the average interest rate on its debt with more than 650 bond offerings in the market.

No elected officials

According to the Thomson Reuters financial reporting service, California Communities was the nation’s fifth largest debt issuer in 2007. But the agency claims to have no revenue, expenses, liabilities or assets. In fact, California Communities doesn’t even draft an annual budget.

Instead, California Communities claims that the millions it generates is the property of three contractors – the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and a business called HB Capital Resources.

The League and CSAC are two of the best-known special interest groups in Sacramento. They represent the political interests of every county and hundreds of cities in California. Each year, they are paid a portion of the agency’s fees to develop programs and "promote" California Communities to its members. In 2007, each group took home more than $2 million.

Both associations say they use the California Communities proceeds to keep their membership fees low.

"If we didn’t have that revenue stream, we would raise dues," McKenzie said. "Who pays that? The taxpayers."

The associations, however, are more than just contractors. The cities and counties that created California Communities have given them power to appoint members to the agency board. These two private organizations literally control a public agency.

And who have they appointed to the board? Why, their own executives: McKenzie; Paul McIntosh, CSAC’s executive director; Tom Sweet, executive director of the CSAC Finance Corporation; Dan Harrison, the League’s director of administrative services; and Jean Hurst, CSAC legislative representative.

Not a single elected official sits on the California Communities board.

League and CSAC officials note that elected officials control their organizations and have the power to remove anyone from the California Communities board. That said, they couldn’t provide evidence that anyone had ever been removed.

What’s more, the League and CSAC have, in at least five cases, received thousands of dollars from businesses and other entities that received tax exempt financing through California Communities.

Just one example: Waste Management, a national waste hauler that was issued tax exempt bonds in 2001 to buy garbage trucks for Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties, gave $15,000 to become a "League Partner" in 2007 and contributed at least another $20,000 to a League political committee from 2005 through 2007.

"That raises questions," said Bob Stern co-author of the Political Reform Act of 1974 and president of the nonpartisan Center for Governmental Studies. "They should not be receiving money from people benefiting from" California Communities, he said.

League and CSAC officials say they weren’t even aware that they had received money from beneficiaries of California Communities.

"We segregate the functions," McKenzie said. "The whole fundraising function and the partnering function, I don’t get involved in. It’s totally separate from what I do with CSCDA."

‘We get paid well’

Staffing is also a separate function, provided by the private firm HB Capital Resources, which received the largest profits from California Communities.

A company of about 30 people, HB Capital is named for its two principals, Stephen Hamill and Jerry Burke, who operate several enterprises from an office in Walnut Creek. With names like "U.S. Communities" and "Canadian Communities," these firms offer "public benefit" services to government and private groups.

Hamill declined to say how much of the $10 million collected from California Communities was profit, acknowledging only that "We get paid well." He noted, however, that HB Capital operates without profit guarantees and estimated that more than 50 percent of staff time is spent on projects that never appear before the board.

Despite being a private company, Hamill said, HB Capital is devoted to serving the public. He noted that both he and Burke have a background in local government.

"It’s easy to say profit or money is evil and ignore the public benefit that’s offered," he said. "We don’t want to be making money unless there’s a benefit we provide."

But not everyone is convinced this arrangement is proper. The State Treasurer’s office has been examining the agency and believes it’s a conflict of interest for HB Capital to be paid a portion of bond fees when part of its job is to recommend how many bonds to approve.

The Treasurer’s office also contends that California Communities intentionally schedules its meetings to avoid public scrutiny and generally operates more like a private business than a government agency.

In a recent court case, Hamill stated, "Many of CSCDA’s business practices, procedures, and marketing strategies are confidential and are not available on the Internet or anywhere else in the public domain."

"The notion that the business plan of a public entity is, in any way, secret, confidential [or] hidden from the public runs counter to every notion of open government and accountability to taxpayers," said Tom Dresslar, spokesman for State Treasurer Bill Lockyer.

"It’s a bad way to do the public’s business."

Public funds shifted to political action committee

Despite the potential conflicts of interest, California Communities has operated without much scrutiny since it was founded in 1988. But that might soon change, thanks to the upcoming election.

On June 3, the League and CSAC have a measure on the ballot called Proposition 99, which seeks to reform government’s power to seize private property. Supporters of a rival eminent domain measure, Proposition 98, have complained to the state Fair Political Practices Commission that the associations use public money to fund their ballot campaigns, which would be illegal under state law.

The associations vehemently deny it, and further claim that no money from California Communities has made its way into their political campaigns.

Internal documents from the League, however, suggest that money from California Communities may have flowed into a political campaign in 2006.

The League’s 2008 budget includes an accounting of where money went in 2006. That year, the League opposed Proposition 90, another initiative to reform eminent domain.

The budget shows that in 2006 more than $3.6 million was moved from an account where California Communities money was held and put into a League political action committee. That same year, campaign finance records show that the same League PAC contributed more than $3.5 million to the No on Prop. 90 campaign.

"This is what I think the state should look at," said Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, "It would be nice to get some explanations."

Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, a political opponent of the League, was upset to learn that revenue from a bond measure he approved may have benefited his political adversary. In 2006, the Tiger Woods Learning Center, a nonprofit for children in Anaheim, secured more than $10 million in financing through California Communities.

"If you’re legitimately trying to assist a nonprofit entity in your community … and somehow a third party is raking off commission to run a political campaign," Pringle said, "that’s outrageous."

League officials say they’ve done nothing wrong. They explained that the California Communities money was co-mingled with money from other sources and it was the other sources that funded the political campaign.

Although League documents obtained by the Orange County Register don’t show it, McKenzie said his organization tracks internally the source of the revenue. He initially offered to provide records showing how the funds were kept, but later said he couldn’t because of the pending investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission.

"We are so very careful," McKenzie said. "We really, really are working very hard. And we’re very confident, by the way, that we’re respecting the limits of the law."

When you thought you’ve heard it all, out comes “Sheriff Carona had secret closet that hid video equipment in his office – Carona’s attorneys say equipment was installed as security precaution after he was appointed advisor to Department of Homeland Security,” by Peggy Lowe and Tony Saavedra of the OC Register. Here it is in full:

Evidence of cameras that fed video to computers spirited away in a "secret compartment" in a "clandestine" room within former Sheriff Mike Carona’s old office have been turned over to federal prosecutors.

Acting Sheriff Jack Anderson made the discovery recently and notified the five members of the Board of Supervisors in a confidential memo The Orange County Register obtained through a public records request.

Anderson, who is vying for the sheriff appointment, announced Friday that he has turned over the computers and video footage shot in Carona’s former office to the U.S. attorney’s office.

"I have discovered that inside the closet is a concealed button that activates an electronic latch which opens a secret compartment door that leads to a secondary small room," Anderson wrote in the memo dated Wednesday. "Inside this clandestine smaller room is stored two computer towers, two monitors, a keyboard, a power backup unit, and a safe."

Anderson led the Register on a tour of the closet showing where the button was hidden in the corner of a cupboard. It released a particle board door that opened to an inside compartment about two-feet deep. A heavy floor safe was pushed against one of the walls but the computer equipment had been taken by federal agents earlier. Anderson also pointed out electronic devices in the closet, on the windows and in the ceiling that emit white noise or vibrate as way to disrupt potential audio recordings in the sheriff’s office.

Carona’s lawyer, who is representing the former sheriff on federal public corruption charges, downplayed the alleged discovery, saying the only thing surprising about it was Anderson’s revelation.

The video-only surveillance camera was installed in Carona’s office by the sheriff’s department in 2001 or 2002 for security reasons following Carona’s appointment as a senior advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Jeff Rawitz, Carona’s attorney. Some things had been taken from Carona’s office and officers with the department’s Dignitary Protection Unit were concerned about the national security documents within the office, he said.

"It was a security system consistent with what many companies use to monitor sensitive locations after hours," Rawitz said. "Mike did not operate the system, have access to the system and has never seen any of the videos recorded by the system. It was purely for security purposes."

Anderson was tight-lipped Friday after the Register first reported the story online Thursday night.

"The matter has been turned over to the U.S. attorney’s office where they are working in conjunction with the FBI to further investigate the matter," Anderson said. "As it is under investigation, I cannot comment further."

Anderson reported in the memo that the cameras were concealed in the ceiling of Carona’s office. He has reviewed some of the video found on the computers, but couldn’t access some of it because it was password-protected, Anderson said. Contents of the safe were unknown, he said.

The revelation by Anderson comes just days before his interview before the board. On Tuesday, supervisors will hold a marathon board meeting to publicly question the nine finalists for sheriff, including Anderson.

Anderson was appointed as acting sheriff when Carona resigned in January, following Carona’s indictment in October on a broad range of bribery and other corruption charges. Carona, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, faces an August trial.

Since his appointment, Anderson has tried to distance himself from Carona, although the former sheriff has said that he would have supported Anderson in the 2010 election. Carona chose Anderson after firing another assistant sheriff, Dan Martini, and saying that his undersheriff, Jo Ann Galisky, stepped aside for personal reasons.

Rawitz said he expects the video footage "to have no evidentiary value whatsoever" to Carona’s case. Carona’s senior managers all knew about the cameras in his office, Rawitz said.

"It is surprising that Sheriff Anderson was unaware of its existence, but perhaps that’s because he never occupied Mike’s offices," Rawitz said.

Supervisor John Moorlach declined comment this morning, saying he was checking with the county’s lawyers about the sensitive matter.

Disclaimer: You have been added to my MOORLACH UPDATE communication e-mail tree. In lieu of a weekly newsletter, you will receive occasional media updates, some with commentary to explain the situation, whenever I appear in the media (unless it is a duplication of a previous story).

I have two thoughts for you to consider: (1) my office does not usually issue press releases to get into the newspapers (only in rare cases); and (2) I do not write the articles, opinions or letters to the editor.

This message should appear at the bottom of every e-mail you receive. If these e-mails should stop arriving in your mail box, it will be because your address has changed and you did not provide a new one. If you do not wish to receive these e-mails, then please e-mail back and request to unsubscribe.

Advertisements