Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona appointed 86 political allies, campaign contributors, friends and relatives to the sheriff's reserve program soon after he was elected in January 1999, a supervisor who once ran the program said in a deposition released Wednesday.
Ah, the sheriff! Yes, the one who sexually harasses his female staff members! Yes, the one who loves to hang out with THE LAS VEGAS MAFIA! Yes, the one who breached the county's top-secret anti-terrorism plans to a con-artist! Well, it looks like Mike Carona has found himself in new trouble... And this time, it's The OC Register that's actually reporting it!
So how has this latest scandal surfaced? Well, you can thank one trigger-happy reserve officer for this!
Lt. Jeff Bardzik's deposition was taken earlier this month as part of a $4 million lawsuit brought by two golfers who allege the sheriff's one-time friend and former reserve deputy, Raymond Yi, flashed a reserve badge and threatened them with a department-issued gun. Bardzik testified that he recommended the sheriff's department take away Yi's gun and badge. Yi, whose reserve status was suspended, also faces a criminal trial June 11 for his actions.
The sheriff himself is scheduled to give a deposition in the golfers' lawsuit. But in a motion filed May 1, Carona asked a judge to seal the testimony to stop it from being given to the media. [...]
On Wednesday, Bardzik declined to comment on his deposition because of his own ongoing lawsuit against Carona, which also contains the same criticisms of the sheriff's reserve division. The 22-year veteran also alleges he was demoted because he did not support the sheriff during the 2006 election.
Ah, isn't Mikey Carona precious? Hasn't he named some fantastic reserve officers? Don't you trust these individuals with YOUR safety? Well, if Carona had continued to have his way, you probably wouldn't be able to trust them.
An April 2001 audit by Peace Officers Standards and Training, uncovered the appointments, and most of the volunteers were decertified due to their lack of training and not passing background checks.
About 5,000 reserve officers volunteer statewide. Their duties range from crowd control to helping transport prisoners to patrolling neighborhoods. They are allowed to carry guns on duty. In Orange County, there are 240 reserve deputies, said sheriff's Capt. Dave Wilson.
But I guess these aren't the duties that Mikey Carona cares about! No, he has far more important things on his mind. Like patronage. Like rewarding loyalty. Like hot chicks. Like getting a little help from a few good fellas in Vegas. Yes, Sheriff Carona knows what really matters here.
And this is someone that Arnold has named as a "homeland security adviser"? This is someone that Bush considers to be a "homeland security adviser"? Cheese, louise! I guess we still can't really consider ourselves safe.
And this is Mike Carona, "America's Sheriff"?