Today we bring you Part III and the final installment of our interview with Acting Sheriff Jack Anderson.Ã‚Â In the previous parts we discussed the events surrounding the investigation of the tragic suicide of a 16 year old son of two sheriff department lieutenants, the selection of a new Sheriff and Anderson’s future with the department.Ã‚Â Today we will delve into his involvement with the Republican party as well as this issue of corruption within the department.
It is a commonly known fact that Acting Sheriff Anderson is a member of the Orange County Republican Central Committee.Ã‚Â This has raised concern among many, including myself, that the Office of the Sheriff will continue to be an extension of the GOP machine, like it has been under Mike Carona, should Anderson recieve the appointment from the Board of Supervisors.Ã‚Â Anderson responded, “Is the Sheriff’s office non-partisan?Ã‚Â Yes it is.”
Wanting to delve deeper into this subject I asked the Acting Sheriff if he planned to resign from the county GOP central committee should he be appointed the permanent Sheriff.Ã‚Â “My first inclanation would be no,” said Anderson.Ã‚Â “I am of course by party a Republican.Ã‚Â My participation in the central committee is just an extension of my volunteerism.Ã‚Â My wife and I both teach Sunday school and I was even on the central committee for six years in my hometown.”
Anderson went on to explain that both he and his wife are active her locally, organizing precinct walks for the party in there area as well as walking precincts themselves.Ã‚Â “My belief is you can either sit on your couch and complain about what you read in the paper or you can get off your butt and do something about it.Ã‚Â I am a grass roots person.Ã‚Â I am not a Lincoln Club person, you know, big bucks.Ã‚Â These big bucks people could walk past me and not even know who I was, nor would I know who they are.”
“I’m the person as a central committee member, we get out the vote for our party,” Anderson continued.Ã‚Â “My wife and I would be the co-directors for the 71st Assembly District because that’s where we live.Ã‚Â I’m a grass roots person.Ã‚Â That’s who I am.Ã‚Â Should I stop my volunteerism because of my office?Ã‚Â I struggle with that because it makes me feel I think as if I am compromising my own philosophy.Ã‚Â I am going to be who I am no matter what.”
Finally our conversation turned to the dark cloud that is hanging over his department, corruption.Ã‚Â “With regard to the corruption we are trying to get a feel for how extensive that is.Ã‚Â Obviously that existed.”
Anderson was quite candid and forthcoming about the issue of corruption and you could sense his frustration in what he has found since taking over for Mike Carona.Ã‚Â “The fact that I have deputies that go to work and basically gave the keys for all practical purposes to the inmates to run the place and ‘don’t bother me while I watch my DVD and if there’s any trouble then come get me’, obviously that is an egregious form of corruption.”
“What really disturbs me about that is the fact inmates were being injured by other inmates puportedly knowingly by deputies.Ã‚Â And when that inmate now injured would come up for medical care and would have nowhere else to go and the deputy would decline it.Ã‚Â It’s not the jail I worked in when I worked the jails.Ã‚Â I don’t know what the hell happened.”
“If you talked to the people I worked with when we went through the jails either as a deputy or when I was in there as a supervisor, you worked.Ã‚Â The inmates don’t run this place the deputies do.Ã‚Â To find out that these deputies allowed this to happen and acquiesed to it is just disturbing to us.”
“What’s the mentality going on here?Ã‚Â We’re dealing with these people through the appropriate disciplanary process.Ã‚Â I don’t need employees like that.Ã‚Â I have zero tolerence for this and that seemed to be lacking before.”
Anderson closed our discussion by making himself available to us anytime that we have questions or just want to discuss issues surrounding his department.Ã‚Â It was clear to both Dan and myself that Anderson is wanting to clean up the mess created by Carona and we both walked away with a greater respect for him.
My fellow Liberal OC blogger Dan Chmielewski,Ã‚Â myself and the entire Liberal OC family would like to thank Acting Sheriff Jack Anderson, as well as Damon Micalizzi, Director of Public & Community Relations for the OCSD, for affording us the opportunity to sit down and clear the air on many of the issues that our readers and the folks of Orange County have surrounding Anderson and his department.
Dan Chmielewski contributed to this post.