Is Carona up to his old dirty work again?

An editorial in the O.C. Register today ponders whether our disgraced Sheriff, Mike Carona, who only recently returned from a self-imposed sixty day paid leave, is up to his old, dirty tricks again. Here are a few excerpts from the Register editorial:

Sheriff’s deputies, police officers and jailers have tough jobs, but also a great deal of power. Most of them operate honestly and professionally, but occasionally an officer vested with the public’s trust misbehaves. When an allegation of wrongdoing takes place, it is incumbent that the investigation is handled fairly and without any hint of a cover-up. One of the most corrosive things in civil society is when the public has reason to believe that those who enforce the laws are not held accountable for abusing their power.

It’s hard to imagine that anyone would object to the paragraph above. Yet the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is operating in a manner that is corrosive of the public’s trust. As the Register reported Thursday, “The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, already under scrutiny by prosecutors and county supervisors for its handling of a Theo Lacy Facility slaying, has lost a personnel file of a jailer accused of orchestrating the much-publicized killing.”

The personnel file could have revealed whether Deputy Kevin Taylor in the past had been accused of instigating beatings of inmates. Those familiar with the jail allege that it is not unusual for deputies to “out” inmates as child molesters as a way to encourage other inmates to beat them. John Chamberlain was not accused of child molestation, but of possessing child pornography, but an inmate involved in the death contends that Mr. Taylor started rumors that Mr. Chamberlain was a molester.

Sheriff Mike Carona, currently under federal indictment on seven corruption charges, has repeatedly argued that the county doesn’t need outside oversight of law enforcement. But the Chamberlain case is what prompted the board to take steps to create an Office of Independent Review. The continuing glimpses we get of the Sheriff’s Department’s handling of this case reinforce the wisdom of that development.

I wonder how the folks at the Red-faced County Blog will spin this to defend their boy Carona?


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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.