Pete Hardin on Spitzer’s Coddling of OC Corruption.

ANAHEIM, CA – Today, Pete Hardin called on Todd Spitzer to return campaign contributions from donors implicated in the widening Anaheim corruption scandal. Financial disclosures reveal Todd Spitzer accepted max contributions from Todd Ament, who has been indicted by federal prosecutors and his wife Lea Ament. Spitzer also appears to have taken a $1,000 contribution from the implicated political consultant. Disclosures further reveal that Spitzer received significant contributions from Angels management. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has been missing in action in the probe.

“Wherever we find corruption in Orange County, we find ties to Todd Spitzer,” said former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin. “From his campaign team to his supporters and financial backers, you can’t be tough on crime when you surround yourself with criminals.”

Todd Spitzer’s own campaign team consists of at least three individuals who have been the subject of state or federal investigations:

  • John Thomas, Spitzer’s current campaign consultant, was subject to state and federal investigations for price-gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Jeff Corless and Tim Lineberger, who also are Spitzer’s current consultants, lead Venture Strategic, which was under investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s office for ripping off taxpayers.  He is accused of bilking taxpayers for millions while representing the Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies.

Hardin added, “These charges stem in part from false statements made to an Orange County Grand Jury, yet once again our District Attorney declines to prosecute his supporters. State and federal authorities will continue to handle these investigations to avoid the stink of Todd Spitzer’s corruption. He should immediately return the contributions he accepted from the implicated parties and release a statement detailing why he failed to investigate their corruption.”

Todd Spitzer’s conspicuous absence from the Anaheim corruption scandal has not gone unnoticed. Despite warning the Laguna Beach City Council (a Democrat-led council) to abide by open meeting laws, Spitzer ignored clear violations of the same type by the Anaheim City Council (a Republican-led council).

Todd Spitzer’s willingness to change course shortly after receiving financial contributions from interested parties is well documented:

  • Scott Borthwick, a defense attorney in the Grant Robicheaux and Casey Riley sexual assault case, contributed $2000 shortly before Spitzer moved to drop all charges, prompting the California Attorney General to take over the case.  Spitzer went so far as to apologize to the defendants.
  • Global Tel-Link Corporation, a company that provides phone services in OC jails, maxed out to Spitzer’s Supervisor re-election campaign shortly before Spitzer voted to renew the company’s contract despite their astronomical and exploitative fees.

Spitzer himself faces allegations of pay-to-play corruptionmoney laundering, and other crimes. Though Spitzer fired the OCDA investigator in charge of investigating Spitzer’s corruption, the investigator won his job back in court and was reinstated earlier this year.

Current Orange County District Attorney Republican Todd Spitzer’s tenure has been defined by scandal. Most recently, Spitzer made racist remarks when discussing whether or not to seek the death penalty against a Black man. Four women in Spitzer’s office have filed claims asserting Spitzer promoted an employee and close friend despite having been made aware of the sexual harassment complaints against him. Spitzer later allowed the employee, who was the best man at his wedding, to retire with top flight benefits. Spitzer also attempted to drop sexual assault charges against high-profile defendants, leading a judge to remove him from the case.  Survivors of the sexual assault survivors were “dragged through the mud” and “grossly mistreated” by Spitzer for two and a half years, leading two of them to abandon their case. 

Spitzer has been involved in an evidence booking scandal, a jailhouse informant scandal, and has defamed a victim of OC’s deadliest mass shooting as retaliation for peaceful protest. Spitzer has also defended a DNA collection program known informally as “Spit and Acquit” that coerces defendants to give up their DNA to law enforcement, a practice the ACLU has called “unconstitutional.

Pete Hardin is a former Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, Deputy District Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and one of Southern California’s leading litigators running for Orange County District Attorney. Pete entered public service when, in 2005, he earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. A combat veteran, Pete served in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 as a member of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Pete is a member of the Democratic Party.

Orange County’s rapidly changing electorate has led Democrats to now outnumber Republicans in Orange County holding a 4.1% voter registration advantage

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