Stephen Connolly to Resign from the Office of Independent Review

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

February 18, 2016

CONTACT: Melanie Eustice, Communications Director

Phone: (714) 834-5492 Mobile: (714) 581-7784

Stephen Connolly to Resign from the Office of Independent Review

(Orange County, CA) – Stephen Connolly submitted his resignation with the Office of Independent Review as of March 31, 2016. In July, the Board of Supervisors unanimously determined that the existing Office of Independent Review (OIR) oversight model was not as effective as it could be. The role was filled by Stephen Connolly.

“The Board was clear that Connolly was not the right person to fill the role of the Office of Independent Review. Unfortunately, many high profile controversies including the informant scandal, jail escapees and the AOCDS Deputies’ lawsuit regarding unsafe jail conditions all occurred on Steve Connolly’s watch,” said Supervisor Todd Spitzer. “Public safety oversight is important to creating transparency of the justice system. It’s a new day and I look forward to the recruitment to find the right fit for the OIR.”

Mike Gennaco, a national expert and former Director of OIR in Los Angeles County has been working with the Board of Supervisors to develop the revised OIR ordinance and to assist in the transition of the OIR office.

The Orange County Office of Independent Review was established by the Board of Supervisors in 2008 to “monitor, assist, oversee and advise” the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department in its handling of critical incidents and allegations of employee misconduct. In December of 2015, the Board of Supervisors voted to extend the OIR’s purview to include oversite of Orange County law enforcement agencies that include the OC Sheriff’s Department, Public Defender, District Attorney, Social Services and Probation.

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