Former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona, who was convicted of witness tampering in 2009 following a federal corruption investigation, has been released from prison early, according to the Orange County Register.
Carona had been moved from a federal prison in Colorado to a federal prison medical center in Kentucky, where he was released after serving 52 months of his 66-month sentence, the Register reported.
The reasons behind his early exit remain a mystery, as the Register reports:
No one would say why Carona – once dubbed “America’s Sheriff” by Larry King – was released early or describe his whereabouts.
But earlier this month federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross said Carona likely would be moved to a halfway house to begin his resettlement with the community.
His lawyers did not return phone calls and emails. Federal prosecutor Brett Sagel, who handled the case against Carona, on Thursday said, “I literally know nothing.”
A woman who answered the phone at the home of his wife, Deborah, hung up on a reporter.
Carona, who had a 32-year career in Orange County law enforcement before he left office, is eligible for a state pension, about $195,120 annually, according to state records.
He served as the county’s top cop for nine years before he was convicted of trying to persuade a former top aide to lie for him during a federal investigation of corruption in the Sheriff’s Department.
A previous version of this post misspelled Mike Carona’s name. We regret the error.