Jerbal looked the other way for Carona, but now he wants jail for Rocco

Chapman University professor Fred Smoller produced the “Who is Steve Rocco?” clip above

O.C. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas ran on a platform of not prosecuting politicians for their sundry campaign finance violations, but now his office is engaging in an expensive full-blown trial as they attempt to jail crazed former OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco for stealing a bottle of ketchup from Chapman University.

I have no doubt that Rocco meant to squirt that ketchup on Chapman professor Fred Smoller, who produced a documentary about how Rocco won his school board election, thanks to support from idiotic Republicans like Matt “Jerbal” Cunningham who voted for Rocco because they could not stomach voting for his Democratic Latino opponent.  But even Smoller is lamenting this stupid prosecution, as per this excerpt from an editorial in today’s O.C. Register:

Yet Mr. Smoller is outraged at this wasteful prosecution. “The man [Rocco] has a track record. He has been a nuisance to society,” Mr. Smoller said. “But this doesn’t seem like the right process. … Rocco is enjoying this.” He finds it odd that a D.A. “who missed the prosecution of the sheriff [Mike Carona]should be going after a $1.50 bottle of ketchup.” Mr. Smoller argues that the courtroom is not the right venue for dealing with Mr. Rocco, but says although he admits that he doesn’t know what the right venue may be.

The Register also stated that:

Commentators and officials have criticized Mr. Rocco’s money-wasting behavior and his refusal to accept a plea bargain that involved probation and staying away from the university. But we have a hard time blaming Mr. Rocco for this circus.

The blame rests squarely on a District Attorney’s Office that lacked the wisdom to pass on this silly case, whose trial is expected to last three days. D.A. spokeswoman Susan Schroeder told us that the D.A.’s office prosecutes petty theft all the time: “We don’t think he should get a pass because he acts weird.” But D.A.s make judgments all the time about what cases to prosecute. We wouldn’t expect a rash of petty theft if the D.A. had decided to deprive Mr. Rocco of the limelight. Chapman University filed a complaint, according to Ms. Schroeder, but we have a hard time believing there was no alternative to this travesty.

But leave it to Jerbal to shill for Rackauckas in a Red Clownty post:

It was Rocco, not the DA’s office, who broke the law. It is Rocco, not the DA, who issued a flurry of subpoenas, which the DA’s office has worked to quash. And as the editorial points out, Rocco is bound and determined to be prosecuted. He has refused all other avenues he has been offered by the DA for the resolving this.

Jerbal was silent, as Smoller pointed out, when Rackauckas failed to prosecute disgraced former Sheriff Mike Carona.  But now he wants to throw the book at Rocco over a ketchup bottle!

Couldn’t they have just fined Rocco – or offered him a plea bargain?

Rocco, by the way, came by my house in November, after the Santa Ana City Council election.  He asked for one of my campaign signs.  You may recall that both of us ran against Santa Ana Councilman Carlos “Space Commander” Bustamante.  I gave Rocco the sign.  I imagine it is hanging on his wall now, like a bizarre trophy.  But I gave him what he wanted – and have never seen him again.

Is Rocco nuts?  Sure.  But he is also pathetic – I felt sorry for him as he rode off on his bicycle with my campaign sign strapped to his back.

Rocco needs help, not jail.  But leave it to “law and order” Jerbal to slam him – even though Jerbal has defended Catholic monsignor John Urell, who covered up for a slew of child molesters.  Now those guys should have been prosecuted!  But most of them got away with their hideous crimes…


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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.