Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials have launched an internal affairs probe into the actions of deputies who investigated an accident involving one of their own and a Lake Forest man.
Kevin Halliburton, 51, was riding his motorcycle along Bake Parkway in Irvine in December when a sheriff’s deputy’s patrol car crashed into him. While the deputy apologized to Halliburton on the scene and was captured on video admitting fault to investigators, the department’s initial report on the incident blamed Halliburton.
The report cited Halliburton for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and used the word “INTOXICATION” even though Halliburton was never given a sobriety test and admitted under questioning to having only one beer with dinner that night.
A Sheriff’s Department traffic review committee has been reviewing the accident since the summer, and sources at the department expected the review to be completed last month. No announcement has been made, but sources inside the department expect the review to be completed this week.
Halliburton said he was contacted Tuesday by a Sheriff’s Department internal affairs investigator who said he was “fact finding.”
“He asked me if I was aware there was an article in Voice of OC. He said, ‘Do you agree with the statements?’” Halliburton said.
“Yes, I certainly do,” Halliburton said he told the investigator.
Department officials confirmed the internal probe Wednesday. “When they looked at the tape, we questioned a couple of things,” said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino. “We’re going to look into it.”
Yet Halliburton said some of the questions from the internal affairs investigator made him feel the department is still in protective mode.
Most upsetting to Halliburton was his sense that the internal affairs investigator defended the deputies’ use of the word “INTOXICATION.”
“I was left with the impression that even the IA guy was flying the blue flag,” Halliburton said.