OC Sheriff on Jail Escape: Wait Until All the Facts Come Out

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens says it’s too early to blame her department for the recent escape of three inmates from the Central Men’s Jail in Santa Ana. She made that case in a letter to county supervisors Thursday despite a lawsuit from the Assn. of Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies claiming that staffing cuts at the facility were partly to blame for the breach.

“It is unfortunate that this discussion is taking place before all the facts are known,” Hutchens wrote. “The department will not make any allegations or comment on such information until we are ready to do so from an informed point of view.”

Hutchens also insisted that her office is fully cooperating with the investigation in as timely a manner as possible. Any allegations to the contrary are “completely false,” she added.

Hutchens met with supervisors during a closed meeting Tuesday and is asking the Board for additional funds to step up jail security. While she denies the allegations contained in the suit, she has acknowledged that protocol was not properly followed at the jail the day of the breakout.

Read more about the questions surrounding the recent escape here.