**OC BLOGOSPHERE EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Jack Anderson Sits Down With The Liberal OC – Part I**

Last week I wrote a post here on the Liberal OC concerning the events surrounding the tragic suicide of a 16 year old young man whose parents are both lieutenants with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The basis of that post was an April 25th Los Angeles Times article written by Christine Hanley and Stuart Pfeifer in which questions arose in regards to the handling of the investigation by OCSD officials, including Interim Sheriff Jack Anderson who was an Assistant Sheriff at the time.

Shortly after posting the story on this blog I received a phone call from Damon Micalizzi, Director of Public & Community Relations for the OCSD, in which he expressed his disappointment and anger regarding my post. Mr. Micalizzi made it clear to me that he felt that my post was wholly inaccurate and a cheap shot at Acting Sheriff Anderson and the department. He also said that he understood that this was not my fault because I based my post on information written in the Times article. (The Liberal OC has contacted the Times and they stick by their story and also say that no one from the OCSD has contacted them to dispute anything written in that article; Mr., Micalizzi insisted he contacted the Times reporters about the errors, but the Times reporters indicted there were no such complaints from the Sheriff’s Department regarding this particular story).

After a long conversation with Mr. Micalizzi I agreed that for the sake of fairness and accuracy that I would remove that post and allow the OCSD to offer its side of the story. Much to my surprise Mr. Micalizzi told me that not only would we get to sit down with someone from the OCSD to talk about this, but that we would actually be sitting down with Acting Sheriff Jack Anderson himself and that we could discuss anything that we would like.

Yesterday fellow Liberal OC blogger Dan Chmielewski and myself met with Acting Sheriff Anderson at his office in Santa Ana. In Part I of our conversation we discuss the tragic events of January 7th and the subsequent investigation by internal affairs and the District Attorney.

It was clear from the outset that there is a new Sheriff in town. albeit on an interim basis. “I meet with the media all the time,” Anderson said, “and the reason is to set the information accurate. I understand that the previous administration wasn’t always so open to the media and that’s not my style. There are no bars here and anything you want to talk about is fine.”

Regarding the tragic suicide incident Acting Sheriff Anderson admitted that he was not fully aware of the details of the Los Angeles Times article or my post on the subject. He did however tells us how things transpired on that day from his point of view. The Times article hinted at some sort of misconduct or intentional wrongdoing on the part of OCSD officials. Anderson said he has initiated an internal investigation about the incident, in addition to an investigation by the District Attorney’s office. He said he would release the findings of the investigation once completed, but also believes any wrongdoing on the part of investigating deputies was unintentional given the nature of the incident involved people with many friends in the department.

Questions have arisen as to why so many OCSD officials were at the scene that day as have allegations of possible evidence tampering. He explained that they were there to offer comfort to their friends, their co-workers. Anderson said that when he arrived, “The crime scene had already been defined and since everybody was in the house that couldn’t have been the crime scene. The crime scene was obviously the backyard. I stayed in the living room the whole time.”

Anderson assured us that it is proper procedure for a log of everyone that comes and goes from a crime scene be kept. He said that it was done in this case as well. Since the house was not designated as part of the crime scene there was no log kept on who came and went from the residence itself.

Anderson said that once he heard that there was possible wrongdoing in regards to how the investigation was handled he ordered a complete investigation. “We’re not going to tolerate that. We have policies and procedures in place,” said Anderson. Anderson said that the investigaton is still ongoing within his department and at the DA and he assured us that he will share the findings with the Liberal OC.

Should the findings show that errors were made Anderson said he will see to it that they are remedied. It will depend as to whether the errors were in his words “malicious” or simply “a matter of training” as to how the department proceeds with the matter.

Look for Part II of our conversation with Sheriff Jack Anderson on the Liberal OC Monday. We will discuss the appointment of a new Sheriff, his future with the department, Mike Carona and many more issues.

Dan Chmielewski contributed to this post.

  7 comments for “**OC BLOGOSPHERE EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Jack Anderson Sits Down With The Liberal OC – Part I**

  1. just...asking?
    May 8, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    If Anderson hasn’t read your post or the LA Times article, why is he making himself available to address this issue?

    And why would DA and and internal investigation be necessary if both the DA and Sheriff’s department didn’t have some concerns?

    Don’t think they can blame newsreporters and bloggers for bringing this upon the department. If the department had a reputation for being honest with the public, their actions would not generate such suspicion.

  2. Paul Lucas
    May 8, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    very nice post. Im looking forward to part 2.

  3. Rocket
    May 8, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Um. That’s the problem. An Assistant Sheriff who alledgedly doesn’t know the policies and procedure of his own Department. That’s what Galinski and Bishop claimed before they were canned after lying to the Grand Jury. The problem was and is that when there is a sucide, the homicide guys are the go-to people. They are the first responders. Instead, the first responders were all of command staff. (durning which was an obviously politically sensitive period) When the homicide people heard through the grapevine what hapened they show up. They are then essentially told to get lost and not ask any questions. Guess by who? Obviously anyone who watches late night cop shows can figure that one out.A potential crime could have been committed and that’s why Homicide is first to roll. The excuse by the department is that the lowly watch commander missed the boat. Well so did command staff. Allowing firearm access to a kid can be a felony. Vey sad.I’m sure nothing would happen to the parents. You must follow protocal. But that is not how Jack rolls. Because of that the command staff created the new problem for the parents from the DA and Jack is investigating himself. Nice!

  4. May 9, 2008 at 8:58 am

    he goes to a crime scene and doesnt even look at the crime in the back yard? i understand supposedly he was there to comfort the other cops but he never went to the backyard to see for himself? sounds like another patented oc sheriff lie to me. who the hell do these jokers think they are? these guys are no different than a street gang that make their own rules as they go. actually, they are far worse than a street gang. sorry if i offended any gang members.

  5. whospokeit
    May 9, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Here are some questions for Anderson for the next interview. These are not “cheap shots” but serious, hard questions.

    1. Is it policy or common practice to call out homicide investigators immediately on deaths such as this?

    2. Were investigators called out? Or did they hear about this through the grapevine?

    3. Was the body removed from the scene prior to the arrival of investigators?

    4. Were you the senior ranking officer at the scene?

    These questions do not require a lengthy internal affairs investigation. If Anderson was at the scene, and if he was the ranking officer there, he should have no trouble answering them.

    While you’re at it, you can also ask him about the recent Grand Jury report on the Emergency Operations Center. The OC Register article stated the department knew about problems discovered by the Grand Jury for the past year but did nothing about it. Simply ask him if he was in charge of the EOC during the past year and if he was aware of the problems mentioned in the Grand Jury report.

  6. 18vetern
    May 10, 2008 at 9:53 am

    How come Anderson Never says anything until the District attorneys investigation is reported in the times.Also he should have known if procedures were being violated especailly with 20 plus years on the department. If he didn’t he shouldn’t be in a command position and if he did sounds like a COVERUP!!!!!!!!

  7. hate to be suspicious
    May 14, 2008 at 11:28 am

    The whole thing begs the question — what if it wasn’t suicide? Whose word did they take if they didn’t call out the homicide cops?

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