Who should be the next O.C. Sheriff?

It appears that indicted O.C. Sheriff Mike Carona is on the way out, no matter what he does. The L.A. Times is now reporting that even O.C. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who has been an ally of Carona, is urging “the county’s top lawman to take a leave of absence while he fights sweeping corruption charges.”

“Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors asking them to pass a resolution asking Carona to step aside and appoint a qualified member of his command staff to take over.”

Other Republicans, including O.C. Supervisor Bill Campbell and Assemblyman Todd Spitzer are echoing Rackauckas’ request to Carona. But I prefer what Supervisor John Moorlach is saying, “He needs to resign; we’re not talking caretaker government here.” Amen!

It is obvious that Carona and his Svengali handler, Mike Schroeder, are finished in Orange County. It is but a matter of time before Carona is dragged off in chains to a penitentiary. And Schroeder has become a caricature of himself, particularly in the wake of his scurrilous email attack this past week on OC GOP activist Mark Bucher.

So who will be the next Sheriff? I do believe we will end up with a caretaker. Then get ready for a special election to replace the disgraced Carona. Here is my analysis of the current players who appear to be lining up to be our next Sheriff:

  • O.C. Deputy Sheriff Jack Anderson – I don’t know him well. He is an OC GOP Central Committee member. That alone is a good reason not to go with him. We need a cop, not a another politician. Besides, Anderson presumably was hired by Carona, or by Carona’s henchmen. That’s not good.
  • Former San Clemente Police Chief and O.C. Deputy Sheriff Bill Hunt – He is supposed to be an ethical alternative to Carona, but Hunt has his own baggage. He helped former Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl’s kid to get away with being pulled over while possessing marijuana. We don’t need any more of these pratfalls from our next Sheriff. I feel bad that Carona ruined Hunt’s career, but that is not a sufficient reason to elect him.
  • Commander Ralph Martin, of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department – Experienced, amicable and moderate. Martin lives in Orange County, but he works in L.A., for Sheriff Lee Baca. He is low-key but confident, and does not appear to have Carona’s massive ego problems. He seems like a good choice.
  • Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters – Carona once beat Walters. Too bad. Walters would have been a better Sheriff. The sad thing is that Walters has for years been forced to do what Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and Santa Ana City Manager Dave Ream tell him to do. It was Pulido who forced Walters to endorse Carona last year. Walters certainly has the administrative knowledge and leadership ability to be our next Sheriff. But his police department is terribly non-responsive to Santa Ana residents and there are many rumors about SAPD officers being rude to Latinos. On the flip-side, Walters has resisted calls to set up an ICE program in Santa Ana. I think Walters would be a better choice than the rest of the candidates, with the exception of Martin, who at least can say he never endorsed Carona.

Someone also mentioned Spitzer as a possible choice for Sheriff, based on his service as a reserve police officer. I think that would be a bad idea. Carona never walked a beat in his life, as he was a bailiff before becoming the Sheriff. I don’t care that Spitzer has been a reserve. He has no clue what it is to be a real cop.

I am surprised that no one has mentioned former Assemblyman and former Garden Grove cop Ken Maddox, who conducted DARE puppet shows, from what I hear. But he is now a secretary to a member of the State Board of Equalization, Michele Steel. I don’t think Steel will want to lose the guy who answers her phones and sharpens her pencils. Good secretaries are hard to find.

I am sure more candidates will pop up in time. We will be sure to scrutinize them here at the Orange Juice.


Don’t miss Dana Parsons’ analysis of why Carona is hanging on to his job…it’s all about the money! Check out his story at this link.

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