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The Orange County Register is reporting that former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona — convicted offor witness tampering in 2008 — is headed for prison.

A state appellate court has rejected Carona’s claim that prosecutors violated a state bar rule that prevents lawyers from interviewing people who have secured their own counsel.

Carona’s lawyers had asked the appeals court to throw out some damning audio tapes in which Carona is talking to Don Haidl — his friend and co-conspirator, according to prosecutors — about cash payments Haidl made to him. Carona talks about everything being all right unless someone had a ceiling microphone.

Nobody did. But Haidl was wired.

Carona’s lawyers maintain that any comments taped while Haidl was wearing a wire shouldn’t be allowed in court.

The state appeals court said it didn’t think the rule was violated. And even if it was, the remedy is not to throw out evidence, the court said.

— NORBERTO SANTANA, JR.

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