Orange County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Jonathan Larson testified at a court hearing Thursday that he recalled continuous use of the Special Handling log, daily notes kept by jail deputies, during his year in the Special Handling unit, the same year there is an unexplained six-month gap in the log.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal Friday unanimously upheld a ruling that Orange County District Attorney prosecutors improperly withheld information from defense attorneys and misused a jailhouse informant.
With many insiders scratching their heads about the recent grand jury report on jailhouse snitches, focus is increasingly on the upcoming race for DA in 2018. Amidst lingering questions about current DA Tony Rackauckas’ leadership and the judgment of his challenger, Supervisor Todd Spitzer, a third option has arisen out of Chapman University’s law school, Professor Mario Mainero.
The Sheriff’s Department withheld documents from court disclosure, believing a section of the California penal code didn’t require the department to turn them over, retired Sheriff’s Lt. Catherine Irons testified Wednesday.
Orange County’s civil grand jury said ongoing court hearing about possible misuse of jailhouse informants have turned into a “witch-hunt,” and should stop after the grand jury determined there is no “systemic, widespread informant program.”
Despite a critical grand jury report on the horizon and two sets of ongoing lawsuits from Sheriff’s Special Officers and Deputy Sheriff’s rank and file arguing her department is politicized and mismanaged, OC Sheriff Sandra Hutchens keeps playing it cool.