Carona: “I will be completely vindicated”

Since the story of OC Sheriff Mike Carona’s federal indictment broke Monday night we have not had the opportunity to post a lot about Sheriff Carona’s response to the allegations against him.  Today, Peggy Lowe and Larry Welborn of the Orange County Register have a good story covering his response and that of his wife Debbie.

Sheriff Carona: ‘I will be completely vindicated’
Orange County sheriff refuses to resign and denies using his office for financial gain.
By PEGGY LOWE and LARRY WELBORN
The Orange County Register

A resolute Sheriff Mike Carona refused Tuesday to step down or reorganize his department despite facing federal charges that he took bribes in exchange for favors that could be done with the power of his office.

In a move that stunned Southern California political observers and opened the door on Carona’s private life, federal investigators Tuesday charged the county’s top lawman with seven felony counts accusing him of accepting money, high-priced gifts, tickets to exclusive sporting events, a $15,000 Cartier watch for his wife and loans for his “longtime mistress,” the indictment said.

Even as politicians called for Carona’s resignation, the sheriff refused to step aside. He denied using his office for financial gain. He said he was offended that accusations were made about his wife of 27 years and predicted he will be “completely vindicated.” His command staff was briefed about the indictment, he said, and he expressed confidence that his deputies – “battle-hardened” by past controversies – will continue to do their jobs.

“I wish my family didn’t have to go through it. I wish I didn’t have to go through it,” Carona said. “But in terms of their preparation, they are good to go. … I am definitely good to go.” READ MORE 

The LATimes, which initially broke the story continues, their coverage of the Carona indictments and offers an unflattering portrait of ‘America’s Sheriff.’

 

The indictment alleges years of corruption, which Carona denies.
By Christine Hanley, H.G. Reza and Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
October 31, 2007

Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona began breaking the law even before he got elected, according to a federal indictment released Tuesday, engaging in a broad conspiracy to enrich himself and his former mistress by trading access to his department for a steady stream of cash and gifts.

The indictment outlines a scheme that took root in March 1998 and stretched until August, when Carona allegedly tried to keep one of his chief accusers — a former assistant sheriff — from testifying truthfully to a grand jury. Federal prosecutors also charged Carona’s wife and Debra V. Hoffman, whom they identified in court papers as the sheriff’s “longtime mistress.” MORE

The LATimes offers more in-depth coverage through the links below:

Carona under scrutiny
In-depth coverage of the Orange County Sheriff.
-A Child’s Murder Threw Carona Into the Spotlight
-O.C. Sheriff Dogged by Scandals
-A Sheriff’s Rising Star Is Dimmed by Scandal
-O.C. Sheriff Made Donors His Deputies

The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has issued the following press statement yesterday on the Carona indictments.  They did not support the Sheriff in the June 2006 election but they are standing behind him at this point.

“Earlier today, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs learned of the serious legal issues facing Sheriff Mike Carona. Sheriff Carona and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department have been instrumental in making the County of Orange one of the safest places to live in the country. We have made improvements in corrections, the court system, patrol, investigations and the Orange County harbors. Innovative programs such as the Amber Alert program and the DNA Laboratory have been implemented under Sheriff Carona’s administration.

For over thirty years the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has vigorously represented and defended the rights of it members. We recognize that under the criminal justice system one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs will withhold any opinion on these allegations until the facts are known and the findings are in. Sheriff Carona should be afforded all of the rights and guarantees that our great country and legal system would extend to any citizen in this situation.

The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs calls upon the public and elected officials not to act prematurely in this situation, including inserting themselves into the proceedings. We encourage our decision makers to act in the best interest of the community and to allow the judicial process to run its course.

Be assured, our members will continue to provide the very best in law enforcement service to the citizens of Orange County.

For information contact the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs General Manager Mark Nichols (714) 285-2800.”

  1 comment for “Carona: “I will be completely vindicated”

  1. Benny Diaz
    October 31, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Even though I disagree with Sheriff Carona in many issues, especially in immigration and never voted for him but for Mr. Hunt, and as far as I know, in my book he is innocent man until proof guilty by the federal court system. If we all believe in democracy and in the judiciary system let them do their job. My prayers are with his family and with the sheriff department.

    Benny Diaz

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