“While it’s a combination of factors that Mike decided to retire, one of the factors is his ability to focus on his defense [...] He also wanted to make sure the department was ready for a smooth transition.”
– H. Dean Steward, Soon-to-be-retired Sheriff Mike Carona’s attorney
Have you heard the big news? OC Sheriff Mike Carona will announce today on the department’s web site that he will be resigning. And already, talk has begun over who will be replacing him.
So is Carona right to resign? Did he have no other choice? After all, he is on trial for federal corruption charges. Oh yes, and now that he resigned, he can accept the free legal aid of two top-notch defense attorneys.
And who should now replace Carona? Bill Hunt, the deputy who Carona unfairly fired in 2006 after he made the bold move to run against him? Ralph Martin, the LA County deputy (who actually resides in Coto) who’s really been impressing our Supervisors lately? Paul Walters, the long-serving Santa Ana Police Chief? Someone else?
Here is his announcement from the Sheriff’s Department blog.
A message from Sheriff Michael Carona
January 14, 2008 06:13 by Sheriff Carona
For over three decades, I have been proud to serve the residents of Orange County as a law enforcement officer. For the past nine years, as the elected Sheriff of Orange County, I have had the privilege of leading the men and women of what I believe to be one of the finest law enforcement organizations in the country.
During my tenure as Sheriff, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has continued to provide outstanding police services to our contract cities—several of which are recognized as among California’s safest communities. We continue to implement innovative programs throughout our department such as the highly effective Immigration and Customs Enforcement 287(g) program, the Orange County Re-entry Partnership to reduce recidivism, and the Sheriff’s Community Coalition Program which provides broad based community feedback to the Sheriff and members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Our Forensics Services Division is a nationally recognized leader, particularly in the field of DNA technology. In addition to managing the 8th largest jail system in America, our Terrorism Early Warning Group, state-of-the art Coroner training facilities and Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy have added important dimensions to our capabilities and effectiveness and serve as models for other law enforcement agencies around the country.
Over the past few weeks it has become clear to me that the interests of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the residents of Orange County would be best served if I am not distracted from my duties while defending the charges recently brought against me by the federal government. As a consequence, I have worked closely with my staff to assure that my departure from the Orange County Sheriff Department will not materially disrupt its operations or the very capable leadership structure that I have been privileged to work with over the years. Undersheriff Galisky, the Assistant Sheriffs and the more than 4000 members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department have responded to this challenge with the level of deep commitment and excellent service which the residents of this county have come to expect and enjoy.
With a heavy heart, I therefore announce my retirement as Sheriff, effective today. Although this is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, my family, my staff and my lawyers all believe that this is the right time to take my retirement. This action will permit me to focus on vindicating my name and refuting the false charges which have been made against me and my wife.
I have asked Undersheriff JoAnn Galisky to fulfill my duties of Sheriff until a successor is appointed by the Board of Supervisors following a thoughtful candidate search. Undersheriff Galisky respectfully declined due to personal commitments she must attend to. Therefore, in an effort to restructure management and ensure continuity I have returned JoAnn Galisky to the rank of Assistant Sheriff and I thanked Assistant Sheriff Dan Martini for his years of service and released him from his commitments to the organization.
Finally, I have appointed Assistant Sheriff Jack Anderson as the second in command and the Chief of Staff.
Assistant Sheriff Anderson has a long and distinguished career in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and is one of our most respected members. I am confident that I leave the Orange County Sheriff’s Department knowing that it is in very capable hands.
I wish my successor as Sheriff, and the people of this great county the very best. It has been an honor and privilege to serve. I hope that when my current legal circumstances are behind me, I will have another opportunity to serve our community.
What do you think about today’s big news of Carona resigning? Did he have to do it? Is this good for the Sheriffs’ Department? And who may turn out to be our new Sheriff?
Go ahead and have your say.