OC Grand Jury: There's No Evidence of a Jailhouse Informant Program

A major scandal that has saddled Orange County law enforcement for the past two years is nothing but a myth, according to a shocking report from the Orange County Grand Jury released Tuesday. The Jury’s review follows an 11-month investigation into allegations of misconduct by the county’s sheriff’s department and district attorney’s office that have captured national attention, sparked a federal investigation, and upended several high-profile murder cases.

According to the panel, there is “no definitive evidence of a structured jailhouse informant program” and allegations of civil rights abuses by the district attorney’s office and sheriff’s department are similarly “unfounded.” The only wrongdoing the panel found was carried out by a few rogue deputies acting alone or as a result of poor supervision. Nothing was systematic. 

Allegations of an illegal jailhouse snitch program were first raised by the attorney for Scott Dekraai, who shot his ex-wife and seven other people at a beauty salon in Seal Beach in 2011. The New York Times and 60 Minutes picked the story up shortly thereafter. According to a press release from the district attorney’s office, they did nothing but repeat untruths fed to them by the man’s attorney.

“The media, despite being presented with the truth on multiple occasions by the OCDA, reported whatever the public defender said, which was then parroted by law professors and retired politicians without doing any investigation,” the release said. 

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackackaus and Sheriff Sandra Hutchens are feeling vindicated by the latest report. The Department of Justice investigation is still ongoing.


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Finance

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 05:13

The noose is tightening around California’s cities and counties. At least one-third of local and state budgets now go toward public employee pensions.