Barnes, who benefited from more than $600K in campaign cash from the same OC deputy union that fought disclosure of SB 1421 police misconduct records, has put a tiny staff on the biggest public records challenge ever, likely ensuring that Orange County taxpayers – who have paid out nearly $100 million in legal payouts from Sheriff’s Department misdeeds since 1990 – remain in the dark along with any kind of potential reform.
Officials still are drafting rules for when the cameras must be turned on, what the repercussions are for not using the cameras and whether any videos will be made public. The City Council also is considering increased oversight of the police department, including possibly creating a civilian review panel.
After a spate of officer-involved shootings in 2012 that led to protests and a night of rioting, the city set up a public safety board to keep watch over the police. Today, some residents say the board is a “joke.”
The Orange County Board of Supervisors was planning to show Office of Independent Review head Steve Connolly the door by the end of this month. But the board is now scheduled to give him another four months.