OC Sheriff Sandra Hutchens sworn in at the Old County Courthouse

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens gets sworn in

(Editor’s Note: Picture taken by Steve Sarkis).

The opening of today’s Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting was the Swearing in Ceremony for Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens held on the steps of the Old Court house in Santa Ana. A sizeable number of law enforcement, OC fire authority, city council members, county staff and members of the public sat in a V formation on the front lawn area of the Courthouse during this 30 minute ceremony.

“The landmark Old Orange County Courthouse is Southern California’s oldest court building, and as such has been witness to many of the events which shaped present day Orange County. From its dedication in 1901, this granite and sandstone building has been the traditional home of county government. Today the 30,000-square foot building has been restored to look much as it had at the turn of the last century. The building contains the Orange County History Center (which includes the Old Courthouse Museum, the Orange County Archives, and the library of the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society) as well as government offices. The building is on the National Register of Historic places and is a State of California Historic Landmark.”

You could not have asked for a better setting for this ceremony as we sat in the sun while the temperatures did not approach the scorching heat of the past weekend.

Chairman Moorlach introduced a few former elected officials including Supervisors, Harriet Wieder, Cynthia Coad and Assemblyman Todd Spitzer. John also asked LA County Sheriff Leroy Baca to please take a seat so the ceremony could begin.  Also acknowledged, with a rousing ovation, was former acting Sheriff, Mission Viejo resident Jack Anderson, who became our acting sheriff in mid January.

As the selection of the new sheriff was by a split vote I was pleased to listen to Supervisor Bill Campbell as he voiced total support for the new sheriff.
The swearing in was administered by the Honorable Carolyn Kirkwood, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Panel, Orange County Superior Court.

Having several members of the media present I will not cover all of the comments made in this ceremony other than to paraphrase Sheriff Hutchens remarks that the past is the past and this is a new day.

What I found disappointing was that not a single member of our city council or staff were in attendance. With 98,000 residents we are the largest Contract City served by the OCSD. Just a few meetings back our council members showed up at a different BOS meeting to participate in awarding Lt. Bernardi an award for our being the “safest city” (of our size) in the country. Today, members of our city council and city management missed an opportunity to show their respect for our new sheriff. This was a once in a lifetime event that was widely advertised.

Joe Holtzman and I were thanked for attending on behalf of Mission Viejo citizens by several elected and appointed officials at the ceremony including 5th District Supervisor Pat Bates Chief of Staff Justin McCusker.

Note: Supervisor Norby did not participate in the meeting. One member of his staff told us that he is now in Bogota, Columbia.

Sorry folks but we did not sit through the remaining 100 item meeting Agenda that may go on until the sun goes down.

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