Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said Wednesday he was informed four months into his administration about a decision days after he was sworn in to not file charges against a sheriff’s deputy found to have made 74 false reports about evidence booking.
While authorizing new spending this week for the Sheriff’s Department, county supervisors continue to remain silent about mounting revelations of Sheriff’s Department evidence booking misconduct that could weaken thousands of criminal cases.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and Sheriff Don Barnes continued to take aim at each other this week, in the wake of an evidence-booking scandal that has already triggered four fired and seven disciplined deputy sheriffs along with four ongoing probes inside the Sheriff’s department.
A disturbing OC Sheriff’s Department Audit of late evidence bookings finds that 30 percent of evidence booked by deputies over the last two years didn’t comply with policy. While photos and videos are the majority of late bookings, there’s also cash, drugs and guns among the items booked into evidence late, sometimes by as much as a month. The audit, kept secret until recently, raises a host of issues for Sheriff Don Barnes and District Attorney Todd Spitzer and could affect thousands of criminal cases across Orange County.