What the F … BI? All Hell Slides Closer to Breaking Loose in Orange County Politics

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Nguyen in Bosch Hell

With thanks to Hieronymous Bosch — and apologies to many underserved OC patients.

You need to read this story in today’s Voice of OC.  I can only give you a taste of it, but it’s the sort of development that we may be referring back to years from now — including next year, when every member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors except for Shawn Nelson is expected to be making a play for higher (or at least other) office.  This could affect a lot of races.

The FBI, Internal Revenue Service, district attorney and U.S. attorney’s office have formed a task force to investigate reports of political corruption in Orange County, the FBI confirmed Wednesday.

The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission, which enforces campaign reporting laws and is investigating a majority of the Board of Supervisors, as well as the board of CalOptima, also is working closely with the task force, according to county sources.

No details were made public about individuals or specific areas of corruption being investigated by the task force, but Los Angeles FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said it was formally created in April.

The FBI typically supplies agents who are experts in investigating corruption by public officials, such as solicitation of bribes, deprivation of services, election fraud and foreign corrupt practices. Former Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona was convicted of witness tampering in 2008 and sentenced to federal prison after an FBI investigation.

That the Feds are targeting corruption in the county — and, ahem, not leaving it to DA Tony Rackauckas to do it on his own — does not mean that corruption exists.  The Supes deny it.  Yet, the Grand Jury seems to think that something foul is afoot.

Sadly, it is the Grand Jury’s hypothesis that untoward behavior continues and is actively festering in today’s political environment. In point of fact, this and several other studies conducted by the 2012-2013 Grand Jury address the fact that corruption has permeated all levels of the organization, and does not apply only to elected officials positioned visibly in the public eye.

That’s not comforting.

(Why is Janet Nguyen suffering in a Hieronymous Boschian Hell in the graphic?  Good question.  Start your reading here.)

About Greg Diamond

Prolix worker's rights and government accountability attorney. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Runs for office sometimes, so far to offer a challenge to someone nasty who would otherwise have run unopposed. Someday he might pick a fight intending to win it rather than just to dent someone. You'll know it when you see it. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. A family member works part-time as a campaign treasurer. He doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he hated. He does advise some local campaigns informally and generally without compensation. If that changes, he will declare the interest. He also runs a less frequently published blog called "The Brean," for his chosen hometown, where he is now fighting with its wealthiest and most avaricious citizen-donors. This just seems to be his way.