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Orange County
A Time Victim Of O.C.'s Sheriff
by John Moorlach 11/5/07

I now feel that I have achieved victim status. I am the victim of time theft. Yesterday’s [Friday 10/2 - ed.] calendar was wiped out by a constant stream for media interviews.

Ten years ago I came home one night and told my wife that Michael Carona had personally informed me that he would be running for Sheriff in 1998. My wife’s reaction was so positive, that she gave me permission to rerun. Until that time, she wanted me out of the County because of the many unsavory characters within County government that we had encountered during my first few years in restoring the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Department. My wife felt that if Mike was running, we may see a new day, and she encouraged me to rerun in 1998 as well.

John Moorlach

Supervisor on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Second District and a noted CPA. [go to Moorlach index]

Little things started to happen after Mike was elected Sheriff. A trusted friend called to tell me to stay away from so-and-so as she was having an affair with the Sheriff. I refused to believe it and wondered how our mutual friend could be spreading such malicious rumors. Then the articles and photos in the OC Weekly kept coming. Then we get the Haidl escapades. And then we endure the Jaramillo nonsense. All the time I tried to put a good face on it, hoping that this good Christian Sheriff was just the recipient of a smear campaign.

Never once did Michael personally approach me to say that he was undergoing an investigation by the U.S. Attorney. Never once did he take the time to prepare me about how or why I should believe he would be innocent of any charges. And never once did he let me know that he had cheated on his wife. And, during this crazy media feeding frenzy, never have I read one statement from the Sheriff denying the claim that he had a long-term mistress.

On Tuesday morning, I, along with the rest of the County, had to find out from the media that Michael Carona was living a double life. All the rumors and innuendos over the years may have been true.

Trust is everything. A good reputation is critical. And I could go on, as every morning as I prepare for work I get to listen to Michael Josephson talk about how “character counts.” Enough said. Michael, please don’t tell us you’ve done nothing wrong.

In one specific area, his marriage, Michael Carona has been lying and he has been cheating. The indictments are another sad story that can be believed because he has not recanted the appearance of infidelity. But, the behavior of his close appointed associates has dirtied him enough to make the indictments plausible. And the U.S. Attorney would not go after a high-profile individual if they had a weak case. I know that the U.S. Attorney’s office has a sad reputation of being overzealous. But, this case would be nationally embarrassing to lose and must have been approved at the highest levels, if not Washington, D.C.

I have worked so hard to improve a County that has filed for financial bankruptcy. Now I am fighting hard to restore it from moral bankruptcy. And that has taken an incredible amount of my time this week. Please do not tell me that cheating on your spouse is a victimless crime.

Yesterday started off with John North of ABC Channel 7. The video can be seen at http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=local&id=5739765. Their story is the first one below.

Bill Cooper of KFWB News 980 AM came by next and his story played all day and into the night.

The David Reyes of the Los Angeles Times called. This is our second story.

Then Vicki Vargas of NBC Channel 4 barged in. Her clip can be seen at http://www.knbc.com/news/14498460/detail.html?rss=la&psp=news. The related story is our third.

Mike Taylor from KOCE’s Real Orange called to invite me on the show, but I had a commitment to attend an event with the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Then Al Naipo of Fox Channel 11 interrogated me. But a series of hold ups and a home invasion by a few criminals was more important for Al and their 10 p.m. news.

Then Mary Beth McDade of CBS Channel 2 called to say that she was rushing down from Studio City. Her clip can be seen at http://cbs2.com/local/local_story_306174743.html. And the related article is the fourth story below. After she left I was able to trek across my District and make it to the last 20 minutes of the Chamber’s event.

During all of this fun my Chief of Staff, Mario Mainero, also met with a reporter from KFI 640 AM. Their story is number five. If the imbedded links to their audio reports work for you, then great. If not, try going to http://www.kfi640.com/cc-common/news/sections/newsarticle.html?feed=&article=2878124.

Mario also talked to the OC Register in between all of this excitement, too. During the morning it appeared that Supervisor Bill Campbell negotiated a deal with the Sheriff to step aside. Martin Wisckol even posted a story with this news in the title. Later in the day we received a letter from our District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas, requesting our Sheriff to do the same. Then we received a letter from the Sheriff stating “no way.” He would have staff cover for him while he was dealing with the indictments. Great. You can’t be elected and take a leave of absence. It’s like being half pregnant. And, if staff can do your job, then you’re redundant. Martin Wisckol had to pull down his original story.

I find it amazing that certain electeds feel so entitled to their positions, even though they are displaying poor decision making attributes. We’ve seen it with Lee Branch and Robert Citron and now, Michael Carona. So, we can wait out his term until January of 2011. We can hope that he resigns. We can see if he is determined to be guilty by his peers of a Federal felony and have to forfeit his office. Or we can mount a recall. Other than that, Supervisors and constituents get to sit on their hands and watch the soap opera as our Sheriff dangles out in the wind trying to defend himself.

That’s why a tool must be available in the future for extreme cases of this nature that allows the Board of Supervisors to do something. Tuesday’s Board meeting should provide for some interesting debate on this option. CRO

copyright 2007 John Moorlach




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