Prosecutorial Misconduct – OC’s Hapless District Attorney


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So, just how bad is the Orange County District Attorney’s office?

If you’re following what’s happening at Capo USD and in Costa Mesa, the only conclusion you can reach is that Tony Rackauckas would be lucky to find his ass with both hands.

Last week, the Orange County District Attorney’s office received additional setbacks in their fruitless prosecution of the former Capistrano Unified Superintendent and his assistant.  As the last remaining charges were dropped against James Fleming,  an appellate court also issue a stinging rebuke of the DA in the case against Fleming’s assistant, Susan McGill:

A panel of three appellate justices ruled Wednesday that it appears McGill may be the victim of prosecutorial misconduct….

The justices said it appeared prosecutors “deliberately tried to mislead this court” by declaring they were not aware of the potentially exculpatory evidence.

The appellate justices have given the District Attorney’s Office until May 17 to respond.

This court believes that fundamental fairness and due process require that the District Attorney’s office be given the opportunity to “explain away” what appears, at least on first blush, to be a pretty damning case of hiding exculpatory evidence from the grand jury, then the trial court, and finally this court,” the justices wrote in their ruling.

“This court is reluctant to come to the conclusion that prosecutorial misconduct has occurred in this case and hopes that the district attorney’s office can give us an explanation which will absolve the relevant members of the district attorney’s office of any taint of misconduct.”

As the DA’s office refused to comment on this story, they simultaneously launched a media blitz with sadly misguided charges against the Capistrano Unified School District, this time for violating open meeting laws.

Register anti-education writer Scott Martindale greedily swallowed the shiny diversionary bait placed in front of him, with a long and deeply-flawed regurgitation of the DA’s new charges.

While the alleged violations of the Brown Act had been addressed in depth by the board in their March 16th “cure and correct” meeting, the DA, petulantly claimed  that the Board also had to admit that they were wrong, and  announced that “we can’t sit idly by while there are violations of the Brown Act.”

What?  The DA’s office can’t sit idly by when there are violations of the Brown Act? Since when?

Does anyone remember the whining report by the DA “vindicating” the outlaw Orange County Fair Board? The DA couldn’t find any violations of any laws as Dave Ellis and his cronies violated not only every open government law, but a slew of other laws.  An annotated version of that report now deconstructs their work line by line.

There’s a clear conclusion that the DA’s office either doesn’t understand open meeting laws or uses them very selectively.

We wrote about it April 11th as the Costa Mesa City Council began following the same tactics used by the Fair Board to hide their actions from public view.

Meanwhile, back in Costa Mesa…

While the D.A. sits idly by, an independent nonprofit, Californians Aware noted exactly the type of Brown Act violations that we did, promised legal action if the Costa Mesa City Council continued to violate the state open meeting laws through their “Working Groups”

Please take the necessary steps to see that the Working Groups begin immediately to comply with the Brown Act. And please consider that the Council’s failure to do so will result in my recommendation to our Litigation Committee that we seek the appropriate court order(s) to ensure such compliance.

Where’s Tony Rackauckas, our elected District Attorney? Is he going to ignore the violations of open meetings laws by the City of Costa Mesa, and simultaneously waste taxpayer dollars abetting two dissident trustees at CUSD ? Will T-Rack sit idly by as Righeimer and Mensinger defy legitimate public record requests for emails?

Damn, T-Rack’s assistants are petulant and incompetent.

They can’t be bothered interviewing witnesses like Dave Padilla at the Fair Board or the current Superintendent at Capo.  They didn’t follow up on Dick Ackerman’s billing records or follow the paper trail as the Fair Board hid hundreds of thousands of dollars in false claims.

What about the District Attorney himself?

Is he even interested, or is he just another highly paid public employee waiting out his time until he can collect his pension, and relying on Susan Kang Schroeder and his assistants to speak for him?

Should we expect another media blitz from Schroeder, pictured here with her husband, Republican power broker Mike Schroeder?

And what of the “Watchdogs” at our local third-rate daily?

Appellate  Justice Eileen C. Moore  noted a “backdrop of political intrigue and purported cover-ups” at the DA’s office in a stinging critique of the DA’s office.

Will the Register ever notice that anything is awry?

Or will the political reporters at the Register continue their slavish defense of Orange County Republicans as they ally with OC Republican party boss Scott Baugh in his relentless war against public employees ?

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Update: Ministry of Propaganda Non-Responds

Geoff at the Bubbling Cauldron has this update hot off the presses from Bill Lobdell at the Costa Mesa Ministry of Truth.

Short version: We promise we are going to respond pretty soon, as soon as we figure out what to say, but the Budget Working Group’s mission is accomplished and they will not meet again.  It only took twelve  secret meetings to wreak havoc on Costa Mesa.


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