Former Carona backer now a supporter of Sheriff Sandra Hutchens

Carona supporter Ronald Cedillos now supporting Sandra Hutchens

Editor’s note: The above picture is from the O.C. Register.

The OC Weekly’s R. Scott Moxley has some reservations about new O.C. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. To wit:

For example, on the day of her appointment, we learned, thanks to Christine Hanley at the Los Angeles Times, that Hutchens was the central figure in a 1980 lethal-force scandal that left one drunken man dead, two innocent bystanders with bullet wounds and cost taxpayers $1.4 million. According to Anything But Mexican author Rodolfo F. Acuna, then-Deputy Hutchens (and her partner, David Anderson) disobeyed an order to call for backup when investigating celebratory New Year’s Eve gunshots. Instead, the two deputies confronted on their own a large family after such a shooting. The pair fired nine gunshots into the family’s garage, killing Jildardo Plasencia, who had been holding an empty gun. They also wounded an 18-year-old man and a 3-year-old boy.

To make matters worse, when Hutchens was chosen the first guy to congratulate her was Ronald Cedillos, a rich Republican who used to be a prominent backer of none other than disgraced former Sheriff Mike Carona. Yikes!

Apparently Cedillos helped Hutchens behind the scene. In the picture above, you can see his hand on her shoulder.

The O.C. Register’s Steven Greenhut provided a few more details about Cedillos and Hutchens in the Orange Punch blog:

Cedillos is managing partner of a development firm that “specializes in the siting, entitlement, design and construction of state-of-the-art community based correctional facilities (CBCF) for both government agencies and private operators.” One of his project partners is Lou Blanas, the former Sacramento County sheriff who got in hot water for his concealed-carry policies. Hutchens already has announced new policies in that regard.

The O.C. Register’s Frank Mickadeit provided more information about Cedillos:

I’ve known Cedillos about three years. We have a mutual interest in politics, cigars and scotch. He is a moderate Republican with ties to the Pete Wilson and George H. W. Bush administrations. He was a California State University trustee. His business interests have varied over the years – mainly real estate and privatization of prisons.

Mickadeit goes on to explain that Cedillos got snookered by Carona, as did most of us, and he later regretted having anything to do with him.

Cedillos himself replied to the post on Total Buzz thusly, “I find it interesting that some can’t accept at face value that I supported a person whom I thought would do a good job and of equal importance, had no political indebtedness in the county.”

Perhaps. But I would advise Hutchens to stay far, far away from ANYONE that was connected to Carona to the extent that Cedillos was. At least now while she gets used to her new job. Any taint of Carona will hamper Hutchens’ ability to change her department. Why take such a risk?

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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.